Labasheeda - Charity Box

Bruce Turnbull 16/02/2007

Rating: 4/5

Nice album title. Maybe the intention was to inform the music-buying public where they will be able to pick it up, for visually, Labasheeda's debut “Charity Box” is about as interesting as a lecture on financial planning. The crude backdrop and unintelligible centre piece is in no way representative of the band's musical output, and if you can get past that, fans of 90s flavoured gen-x metal will find much to assimilate here. Cresting the rise of modern inferiority, the Dutch three-piece can safely empty their saddlebags, and casually mosey on into town. Filled to the brim with caustic glee, opener “99% Woman” pours through the stereo with a droning, derisive disposition. Musically closer to bands like Cay and Sonic Youth, there is a touch of progressive rock steaming its way through the notes, particularly in the time signatures employed by drummer Paolo Panza. Incessant, scornful and irritatingly high quality, Saskia v.d. Giessen's melodic swoon penetrates the songs with the luxuriant whine this sort of thing craves.

There are plenty of highlights to be enjoyed: the dirty mud-slap of “My City, Your Hometown” and the experimental atmospherics of “Opaque” are very commendable on both performance and execution. In contrast, the snappy head-banger “Black Blood” will no doubt become a live favourite, and the disturbing, confessionary “Taking Pills” is as mind swallowing as the title suggests. A nice introduction into the dynamic world of Labasheeda, with a production that not only recalls the days bygone, but stands on its own as an honest piece of work without an inch of pretension.