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Sepiatone

An Introduction to Sepiatone

(Minty Fresh; US: 18 Mar 2008; UK: Available as import)

The opening moments of Sepiatone’s album shows the loose and atmospheric “Sunstroke” gliding over the course of four minutes like a gentle breeze. The ensuing title track, “An Introduction to Sepiatone”, doesn’t work quite as well but fortunately the song “Darksummer” sounds like Nico fronting Sparklehorse with its rather rich arrangement off in the distance. Singer Maria Collica has a very alluring voice that draws listeners in, especially when the structure meshes as is the case with “Greenhouse” with its off-kilter approach. But when member Hugo Race’s singing comes to the fore, as is the case on the haunting, dark and mysterious “Unnatural Fire”, the duet resembles Nick Cave teaming up with PJ Harvey. The pace of the album then changes, thankfully, with the funky “Mavaria” and its Latin-Middle Eastern flavoring. It continues perfectly on the spacey, heady “From So Hi” which feels like its creators are on some of hallucinogenic trip. For some it might be an arduous 50-minute-plus listen, but for a good number of fans, it will be a reprieve from the usual cookie-cutter music routinely pre-packaged.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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