Mew - Frengers

The band Mew met whilst making a film together about the destruction of nature at school in Denmark. Coming from a country who gave us Aqua it's a relief to discover that Mew's musical heroes are the rather wonderful Dinosaur Jnr and My Bloody Valentine. Never obvious Mew's first commercial single "Comforting Sounds" is an epic nine minute cinematic masterpiece which gradually builds on the minimalistic backing and emotive vocals.

"Am I Wry? No" opens the album with sweet vocals from Jonas Bjerre who sounds like a more sensitive version of Aha's Morten Harket. With guitars in the fore it is the closets you'll ever get to hardcore pop and it reminiscent of the Britpop era and vintage Blondie. "Beyond The Drapes" is charming in a understated way, but try as you may the melody still creeps up nicely on this slow burner. On "Her Voice Is Beyond Her Years", a duet with Stina Nordenstam, the two voices melt together but are drowned out by the music on this tinny production. Former single "She Came Home For Christmas" reeks of the 80s (and somewhat bizarrely Roxette) and although it's extremely moving they lay on the melodrama just a little too thick for my tastes.

"Frengers" is an album which mixes sensitivite lyrics drenched in melancholy with huge Spector walls of sound together as if they're perfect bedfellows. Mew are a truly special band.

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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