Olvis’ third album, Bravado, is a lesson in excess. Likely to draw comparisons to Radiohead and fellow Icelandic heroes Sigur Ros (no shock here, since members of the band guest on the album),
is dense and big and trudges along at a deliberate pace. At its best—with tracks like “The Future is Now” and the achingly good “Wintertime”—Olvis plays to his strengths by crafting solid string arrangements and brooding drums with his ghostly vocals. In other spots, the production is way overdone, sapping the disc of its energy in favor of over-the-top walls of sound and overly reverbed vocals. Some of the overdone tracks come off as outtakes from old horror flick soundtracks. “War Chant”, for example, would fit nicely into Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. Unfortunately, in the end the melodramatic moments outnumber the sublime ones, giving listeners an album that, with how brilliant the best moments are, may be all the more disappointing for them.
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// Notes from the Road
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