Earlier in the year, dream rockers Cannibal Zoo from Regional Jutland released their second EP “Faust”, the first of two planned EP’s in 2014. The result is a charismatic piece, living up to its own considerably dense scope.
Starting with track “Faust”, the band quickly imprints their unique sonics. Muted guitar and Rhodes keyboards help the double tracked vocals and percussion jump out of the mix. In particular, vocalist Karen Damgaard slices through the mix with a celestial air.
“Satan” quickly follows, featuring drum work and multilayered vocals reminiscent of Grizzly Bear. “Centaur Psalm” is the case in point for the dreamy interludes which separate the EP’s disparate moods. “Medicine” again shows off the lead singers. Group vocals feature, but aren’t like anything familiar in this genre. Almost Bon Iver precise backing harmonies are enhanced by the scattershot background atmospherics.
Impressively, the work is self produced. Like other young Danish bands, Cannibal Zoo chose to record every note themselves, deliberately holding all creative cards in their own hands. The result is a band assured in their capabilities, one with the confidence to craft their own unique sonic universe. Lead vocalists Anders Rødgaard Bojesen and Karen expertly weave in and out audible consciousness, with their contrasting male and female tonal interplay. They sound not unlike the vocal duo of British band The XX, but sung with more sincerity. When Anders double tracks his vocal, it is textured in a way that is warm and reassuring, yet dynamic and unpredictable. Vitally, the four-piece have not forgotten the ‘pop’ part of their dream pop tag. Most tunes here have memorable melodies, but not at the cost of their experimental nature.
Cannibal Zoo maintains a consistent tone throughout. “Faust” is a fully realised offering, one which refuses to pander to a particular audience. It is easy to visualise this collection forming a long playing album.