[sic] Magazine

Before The Show – Hearts & Heads

As a touring musician, one can choose to do many things before a show – ensure that you know your material, check your equipment, check out the bar for hot groupies, etc. On tour with bands such as the Brooklyn-based, all-Dane outfit Alcoholic Faith Mission , Laurids Smedegaard wisely chose to spend his time working on his own material, an ethos that he would later take on as his stage name Before The Show , and one which eventually he would go on to share with four other band members.

Hearts & Heads comprises just nine tracks from these Copenhagen natives, but, focusing on quality not quantity, they’re happily dotted with light psychedelic flourishes and soulful rock manoeuvres. Smedegaard has instilled an intimate, bedroom-like quality on his album, but one nevertheless with the precision of a craftsman as the math-rock intricacies of the guitar layering in “Gabriel” and elsewhere suggest.

With a reliance on melodic indie-rock particular to the Danish scene, Hearts & Heads still has the capacity to surprise however. Albeit with a poppy sheen, “Lessons” – a tale of some “tactless c nt” – breaks into post-hardcore emoting out of the blue, and there’s a minimal iciness to certain heartfelt tracks like “Status” and “Roads”, which is perfect for closing the eyes to after a relationship sadly draws to a close.

If the opener “Lessons” is left to one side, Smedegaard’s sibilant-heavy vocal is soothing throughout, his album full of gentle piano and shimmering guitar textures that allow it to sway in dignity. The band’s myspace states a desire to “conquer any curious ear and blackened heart” and while Hearts & Heads is a little safe to thoroughly justify this claim, it retains the power to hold the attention, to turn the head, and to gently worm itself into your heart.

Advised downloads : “Lessons” and “Plunge”.

~Hearts & Heads is out now on Trak2r Records .~


Alcoholic Faith Mission