The Foreign Resort ‘Scattered And Buried’ – album review

The Foreign Resort ‘Scattered And Buried’ (Monolathe Recordings)
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Words: Donna Gorey

The Foreign Resort are an alternative, electro-infused, shoegazing rock band from Copenhagen, Denmark, whose wave of dark and hauntingly beautiful songs seduce with their spectral and euphoric tones.

Established in 2006, The Foreign Resort is comprised of Mikkel B Jakobsen on vocals/guitars, Morten Hansen on Drums/Vocals , Henrik Fischlein on guitar and Patrick Ryming on Bass. In November 2011, The Foreign Resort released their self-titled EP in Europe on afmusic and in the US on Monolathe Recordings. The tracks included “Orange Glow”, “Take a Walk” and “Heart Breaks Down” which received rave reviews both locally and internationally. In December 2011, The Foreign Resort were chosen by The Raveonettes to support them on tour in Denmark, which helped them gain a wider audience. Having released their debut album “Scattered and Buried” on September 25th 2012, The Foreign Resort have just finished a successful US tour, seeing them take part in CMJ Music Marathon in NYC as well as the noise pop festivals Deep Heaven and the Deep Heaven Now in Boston and STPPFest in Washington, DC. Now returning back to Europe, The Foreign Resort will play the Iceland Airwaves annual music festival in Reykjavík on the 1st and 3rd November 2012.

At a time when electro-guitar infused bands are in vogue across Manchester, it is really refreshing to hear a band from the same genre, which is from overseas, but evidently influenced by British bands, yet sounds original and fresh. Listening to “Scattered and Buried”, reminds you all what’s brilliant and progressive about dark, new wave music, captivating us with their mesh of fuzzy, descending drones and shoegazing assault. It’s a polarised electro-guitar infused album, which convolutes with its intricate textured riffs and elates with its euphoric synths. With its explosive, fuzzy, edgy and atmospheric songs, “Scattered and Buried”s darkness manifests through the mutating riffs and weighty bass. It’s an album whose darkness is captured through the theatrical and sullen vocals of Jakobsen and immaculate drum craftsmanship of Hansen. It’s also an album which alters the senses through the mesmerising riffs of Jakobsen, Fischlein and Ryming.

With remixes of “Heart Breaks Down”, “Take a Walk” and “Orange Glow”, “Scattered and Buried” sees “The Foreign Resort” dabble with more dancey vibes, reminiscent of the early 90s club scene. Switched on by the sublime “Delayed”, here is a track which tunes you in with its radio-antennae riffs. It’s an impressive opener, which captivates you with its cacophony of sinking bass and wayward riffs. With his sullen vocals, Jakobsen really captures the melancholy of the song, which delves deep into the mesh of fuzzy and descending drones. What’s distinguished about “The Foreign Resort” is the significance of the bass throughout all their tracks. It’s not often you hear a band which makes the bass as prominent as the lead guitars. In particular in “Delayed” you hear how Ryming’s under chamber of drones, skilfully hammer and pound against the skydiving, rotating and nimble-fingered riffs. With lyrics such as “Afraid of now, if my heart will ever mend”, you hear the torture emitted which is wrapped up and smothered by the shoegazing invasion.

“Buried”, on the other hand, is an example of how the legacy of influences can be incorporated and stand the test of time. With its Joy Division-esque intro, “Buried” then accelerates with more post-punk, jittery riffs that consolidate with shades of early U2. With exact precision “Buried” slides, staggers and penetrates the vocals with its wave of reverberating, shoegazing riffs. Along with its New Order-esque drum infested outro, “Buried” exudes an unhinged edginess, defining “The Foreign Resort” very much as a genre-bending band.

Again it’s the New-Order-esque sonic beats that kick starts “Rocky Mountains” into a chaotic clatter of shoegazing haze. With its telescopic vocals, “Rocky Mountains” synchronises with the eerie sonic synths that reverberate against The Jesus and Mary Chain-esque riffs.

“Lost My Way (2012)” once more illustrates how the distorted vocals integrate with the wonky, wavering bass, creating the backdrop for this oblique track. Along with its nagging, muffled riffs and elongated drones, “Lost My Way” is progressive new wave music personified. It’s a track whose ascending riffs and synths synchronise in juxtaposition against the blackened bass splodges.
“Tide” is one of the album’s most sonic infused songs, whose drugged up and choppy synths resonate against the emotive vocals. Lyrically minimal “Tide” skilfully evokes emotional discord which drifts aside the Industrial and tinny riffs.

Now remixed, “Orange Glow (Nova child remix)” re-emerges in eerie, Eno-esque tones, swirling and drifting towards euphoric heights. Along with its piano-synth “Orange Glow” is fuelled by the springy bass and the shuffle drums. It’s a multi-textured track which is customised by the mechanical Adamski-esque synths that rotate and spark around the wailing riffs. What’s definitive about “Orange Glow” is the subtle undertow of muffled voices and eerie Morse code beeps. It’s an innovative insert which hails “The Foreign Resort” as very much a contemporary and experimental band.

 

“Heart Breaks Down (Sway remix)” is the album’s most hauntingly beautiful track, which drones and aches with its mass of shoegazing haze. Now remixed with a more dancey vibe, it’s also a track which spins and elates with its pitter-patter of synths. Delivered in languid vocals, “Heart Breaks Down” ingeniously cuts to the core and narcotizes you in an infused state of mind.

With a condensed array of influences, “Opening Act (evol temptation)” is an eclectic mix of sonic wonders that flickers, stomps and flutters with a busybody of synths. With shades of Depeche Mode and 90s U2, “Opening Act” is pulsated by the signature New Order-esque bass and sonic drum beats. Despite the obvious New Order influences, “Opening Act”‘s contemporary freshness is restored by the distinguished vocals and splatter of strobe light synths.

Again, with the remix of “Take a Walk” (Runner’s mix), “The Foreign Resort” illustrate their diversity as a band, upgrading an original stomper with more textured synths and pluckier riffs. With its Jesus and Mary Chain-esque intro, “Take a Walk” continues to prowl in darkness, adopting more menacing, scattered, swirly synths that reverberate against the heavy sonic drums.

As a debut album “Scattered and Buried” stretches the boundaries of new wave music, whilst incorporating the influences of bands such as My Bloody Valentine, New Order and Joy Division. It’s an amazing album, which puts The Foreign Resort firmly on the radar, hailing them as the most exciting band to come out of Denmark since The Raveonettes.

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2 comments on “The Foreign Resort ‘Scattered And Buried’ – album review”

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  1. KEITH GOLDHANGER

    This is excellent – really like it alot – at the time of writing ive only read the above piece and heard the tune. However, can anyone please shed some light on Danish band HOW DO I ? from the early 90’s. I’m after the 1st 2 albums (only recently discovered they madde 4 albums!) V simular stuff to The Foreign resort. -thx

  2. Great review of an excellent album. I’m also quite pleased with your description of my remix of Orange Glow. Thanks for listening and sharing, and if you get a chance, check out the newest release featuring another remix by Novachild.

    http://theforeignresort.bandcamp.com/

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