A horrible hack

Blue Ontario

New Frequencies

Year Released: 2000
Format: CD
Label: Tiger
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on Jun 13, 2007
Come on, admit it, Christie Front Drive put out the best indie rock record ever, and it only contained 6 songs. So you have to be intrigued by any band with ex-members of the CFD involved. The Blue O give you Ron Marschall and Jason Begin. Yes, I realised there is no Eric, and therefore no mumble-core (hey, I almost understand 50% of the words he sings on that record now though... I think), but still...

You have to own this purely for "Lost Astronaut". Treading the same spacey paths as Antarctica, yet retaining a little more of that essential Christie Front Drive influence (like the Ant's did on their CDEP) this song is just enormous, expansive, incredible. Big guitars soar and dive, sometimes screech. Keyboards and synths layer the sound, spot on vocals send it over the edge. And man, that lovely thick, yet unintrusive bass. Woah. This whole thing is dreamy dreamy dreamy. "Twenty Three" is more towards the Antarctica end of the spectrum though with less electronics, but still has a lot of pretty twinkles, that textured bassline, and is another total bliss out of a song, apart from the part where it builds to get pretty loud and ROCK! Before falling apart and just mellowing out totally, and moving even closer to the tundra. 7 minutes long. Oh yes.

Alas, the regular music ends there, and we're into remix territory. Not that I've ever heard the songs they are remixing, but hey! "Halo" has lots of drums added over the top of basslines and guitar. Err, I guess. There are some words added on, and some samples. It sounds dangerously like it might be some UK indie band trying to be cool and "high as kites man, we're crazy dudes". Which, as we all know, is bad news. There is a remix of "Lost Astronaut" which is more electronic. And there is a bit that fucks with your ears if you listen on headphones, it is very disorientating. The last remix, um. I once heard a remix of Mogwai that sounded like someone starting an aircraft for 5 minutes. This is like that. Drone!

If you can stomach paying out the money for just 2 songs, do it. I say it's worth it, but then again, I'm a fool.

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