Doesnít everyone love the sound of a viola? Think about the epic-osity it adds to pop tunes Ė how about Blurís The Universal, for example. The album opens with that rich resiney sound before some gentle beat trickery. Tunes float past or build to thumping climaxes before disassembling themselves. These are trance-like fugue states, existing at the edge of consciousness while fully occupying the focus as soon as it is applied to them. Sometime the tune drops down to a fluttering set of twitters or the raw draw of the bow over strings or the boxy punch of untreated drums. Banjo picking crosses paths with small keyboard waves and the band show their eclecticness with a cover of Enoís Sombre Reptiles from the seminal Another Green World album.

The album is the product of yet another boy / girl duo. Lisa Molinaro plays viola and synths while Kevin OíConnor is on drums, banjo, keyboards, programmed beats, guitar, accordion, etc etc. Needless to say, this is the result of multiple overdubs and isnít the raw affair that, say, a White Stripes recording can be. It was Kevin who kicked the whole thing off so itís no surprise how central the beats and breakbeats are to the sound. The drum acoustic is very real here and places the whole thing in your room. Lisa worked on some tours before joining up to double the size of the unit from one to two. So, while this is the bandís second album, it is the first made by the duo. Itís a lovely and organic thing, with programmed beats not detracting from the feel, blending into a whole album made of sonic pictures. At times it reminds me of Lamb and thatís high praise in these parts.

Ross McGibbon