c.a. six years ago I saw fifteen seconds of a music video on the Bulgarian (I think it’s Bulgarian) music video channel Musicbox, and ordered this band’s début album. at the time they were known as The Bridge, and they weren’t all that big. at least not in Norway. and frankly, they still aren’t that big. why? I can’t for the life of me figure that out. their début was insanely good, and fairly ambitious – coming in a beautifully designed digipack, with cover art by their vocalist and main songwriter, Tomas. a two disc mammoth, that album was glorious. it would go three more years before I got new material by these guys. with a change in their line-up as well as name change, they released a three song EP in 2007. it was just as good as their début album… but it was just an EP, and after listening to it a thousand times, all I could say was GIEF MOAR. and now, three more years have past, and I’m finally getting MOAR. it’s 2010, and their new album is finally here. it’s called Foreigners and it’s released for free today. to put things into perspective, Tomas describes it as his Guernica, or his Tournesols, and they’ve been working with this for approximately three years, the last half of which period being spent in isolation, to avoid any loss of focus. this is extremely ambitious, and definitely a high risking project. Tomas has also written, directed, produced etc music videos for each and every of the eleven songs. and now it’s here. on their previous records they primarily played this kind of goth-y form of alternative (a bit comparable to Placebo), but when your début consists of 34 tracks, you obviously cross experiment with other sounds as well. so they dipped their toes into both pop rock, experimental rock and garage punk, avant-garde piano-driven compositions, claustrophobic acoustic lullabies… among other things. that alternative sound with an affection for the experimental is still at the core of their sound. but now they are far more experimental. their sound is vastly different. there are no longer tendencies towards the experimental, but a sound that is completely sui generis. they are different from every other band out there, doing something entirely unique of their own. they call it expressionism. though they probably don’t mean the contemporary classical genre, that would actually not be all that off. because like that, this is acute, avant-garde and emotionally distressed. just in a more rock setting. the mix is completely unorthodox with no bass, a ton of mystical reverb, Joseph’s soft drums that sounds like it’s behind a wall, guitars that usually vary between the clean and semi-distorted, and just a very different sound altogether. to compensate for the lack of bass guitar, Tomas plays an octave guitar with no A-string, adding some deep and soft touches. while the record captures quite a few moments of alternative magic, it more often dwells in a sparse Joy Division manner, a comparison significantly enhanced by the baritone vocals – even though they often seek for the otherworldly by utilising Tomas’s signature falsetto. the Slovakian band The Bridgeheads relocated to London some years ago, and I don’t know if it’s coincidental that this record sounds like it borrows quite a bit from English ’80s music, particularly (art) punk and goth rock. other bands that come to mind are both Radiohead and The Cure (Disintegration and post Disintegration). take this into the experimental alternative sound, and you’d probably still be way off if you were to take a guess as to what this record might sound like. it’s an experience that needs to be… experienced. The Bridgeheads do not adhere to a single genre I know of. this album is a fresh breath of air for music as a whole. it’s one of a kind. it needs to be heard to stand any chance of being even remotely fathomed. you need to hear this.
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