Sandra Bell - Net (IMD, 1995)

De l'indie-rock féminin caractéristique des années 90. Ce qui distingue Sandra Bell de la plupart de ses consoeurs, c'est qu'elle ne vient pas des Etats-Unis mais de Nouvelle-Zélande. Avec la distance géographique, l'influence des Throwing Muses est moins forte, l'ombre de Nico vient même souvent planer, ce à quoi on ne s'attendait pas forcément! Elle combine donc le meilleur du rock américain et la simplicité rurale, la franchise de la kiwi pop. Alastair Galbraith et des membres des 3Ds viennent d'ailleurs l'accompagner sur certains titres. Une artiste trop méconnue!

Sandra Bell

CD IMD 10040 (New Zealand, 1995)

01. Long Time
02. Trains
03. Car
04. Underground
05. History
06. Tongue Tied
07. Baby Break
08. Caitlin
09. At the Place
10. Walking
11. They Say
12. Keening
13. The Tree's Can't Dance

Note : Bell's cool emotionalism and dismissive sass, in combination with her music, at times call to mind what a more energetic Nico might have sounded like as the solo bandleader of the Velvet Underground. Certainly the various instrumental additions from others — piano and accordion on "Trains," cello on "Tongue Tied," and so forth — give an additional theatricality to the proceedings that's quite becoming. The understated combination of bodhran, Irish pipes, piano, and cello on "Caitlan" is especially striking and lovely. Bell herself throws in enough wild-card elements to keep the listener's attention. The unexpected guitar-feedback snorts, reminiscent of Joy Division, on "Car" break up the flow of the song just enough, while the quite clear vocals on "History" tell a queasy tale over some darkly chiming guitars, at least initially. Even more interestingly, the final six tracks steer away from percussion altogether, providing a mellower but no less darker flip side to the initial rockers. Bell's multitracked vocals snake through guitar noise on "At the Place," while her semi-blues strum (supported by David Mitchell and Denise Roughan of the 3Ds) on "Walking" and the fine instrumental duet with Alastair Galbraith on "Keening" are simply grand.


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