Studio "West Coast"

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 1, 2007 10:30pm | Post a Comment
It is always interesting to go back and think about the first time you heard a certain band or certain song. As it happens, you may not always realize what an important moment it is. It may be months or years later when you look back and reflect on that pivotal moment when you first heard some song that you are now obsessed with. I can still remember the first time I heard certain songs. I remember exactly who I was with and if it was on the car radio or in someone's bedroom. I remember certain songs being played to me over the phone when talking with friends late at night. I also remember seeing a music video for the first time of some band that I had never heard before. This does not happen so much anymore. But I still do get introduced to new bands all the time. Most of them are not so memorable. I already like a lot of bands so I spend most of my time listening to those bands old albums or getting excited by their new albums. But the best thing about music is hearing a new band for the first time. There is really nothing like the excitement of hearing a song and immediately getting obsessed with it. Knowing that your life will now be better just because of this one new band.

This just happened to me again last month. My friend was given a CD from Sweden of this new  band "Studio." Her friend bought it for her just knowing that she would love it. It then made its way to me. The album "Yearbook 1" was only available in Sweden at the time. The UK version called "West Coast" was out in a couple of weeks. As I listened to it the first time, I knew I would remember the moment forever. I knew I loved the album before it was even over. By the time I bought the UK version, I had already listened to the other version a dozen times. They changed the artwork and got rid of the first two tracks. While the artwork was a bit better on the Norwegian CD, the album does not really miss the missing songs. It is easily one of the best albums of the year already.

Many of the songs have very sparse vocals or none at all. The songs with vocals sort of remind me of Robert Smith. Sort of like Robert Smith singing for the Charlatans UK but with a bunch of synth electronics thrown in. It also is reminding me a bit of the soundtrack to Dario Argento's "Phenomena." But more the Bill Wyman stuff than the Goblin stuff. It seems Argento's film music is popping up everywhere. The band Justice samples some of the music by Goblin from the film "Tenebre." The whole Studio album could easily be a soundtrack to some futuristic science fiction movie. Sounding at times like instrumental Cure tracks or the better work of Tangerine Dream.

The first song on the album, "Out There," is about 16 minutes long. A nice little introduction to the album. It is an amazing song. Followed by one of the best on the album "West Side." The next two songs "Self Service" and "Origin" could easily be from a completely different band. They fit nicely into the middle of the album while at the same time sort of taking you in a completely different direction. These are the tracks that sound like Robert Smith singing in some late 80's or early 90's british band like the Soup Dragons or Happy Mondays. Next comes "Life's A Beach." This is probably my favorite and is the song that sounds like it came from an Italian horror movie. The last track "Indo" would fit nicely on the Blade Runner or Legend soundtrack. This album still sort of blows me away every time I listen to it. I think I love it more every time but it also sounds different every time. I notice different things in the songs. The album takes you on a little journey that you will not soon forget.