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Hi Sultan,

Sorry for the delay!


The Void - Gingerbread Man

Foot stomping intro, love the bassline although it gets a bit lost behind the crunchy guitar at times. Hey! Your vocalist's pronunciation reminds me of Alex Harvey in places - and that's no bad thing! Tight harmonies in the chorus and middle section just made me smile. The lyrics are rather inspired, especially during the break - "you forgot to add eggs - look at my legs!" being the pick of the bunch for me. The changes from blues to rock n roll to a smidgeon of reggae flow smoothly and I'm only sorry that you didn't manage a breakdown into Beastie Boys esque rap (you know you could have done it, you KNOW! :D)... Original, catchy and possibly the best song on this thread so far. I'm SERIOUSLY impressed.

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Guest Stripey

Feel free to comment on our tracks' date=' space rock tracks being The Void, and Plane Crash, while another more rocky one in Gingerbread Man.

any feedback apreciated[/quote']

I'm listening to your tracks now.

The Void - quite a cool intro, I like the drumming, and the middle eastern vibe. Pleasantly surprised by this track actually, it seems to be very much about sound rather than just thrashing guitars and shouting down the mic, which is a big plus in my book ;)

Gingerbread Man - Quite a retro feel to this one (same with the void I suppose) I like the fact the singer isnt putting on an american accent. Not too keen when it starts to get a bit metally around 2:50. Theres quite a stompy feel to this which probably makes it quite danceable. Only gripe, sometimes the vocals sound a bit childish in their execution, but this only happens at 1 or 2 points in the tune.

Plane Crash - This kinda reminds me of crowded house. Quite melancholy, and a bit of a change from the first 2 tracks.

Overall, this is pretty good musically (for an aberdeen band haha)something a little bit different, and the recording is pretty decent. The overall levels of the track do seem a little low though, where was this recorded and mixed?

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Wow, thanks for reviewing not jsut one, but all three of our MP3s Stripey. Nice reviews, too.

Gingerbread Man was recorded @ Exile Studios.

Plane Crash and The Void were recorded @ Captain Tom's.

As for your track, I'll try and get thesultanofswing to review it, as he has broadband and I do not. But if he can't, I'll take the time to d/l it myself.

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  • 19 years later...
On 4/1/2004 at 7:18 AM, scottST said:

Ian Simpson Citizen Awake


To be honest, before I had read this thread a week or so ago, I had never heard a single song by Ian Simpson. I had seen his profiles on the AUBL and HUBL, and didnt know he was even on Aberdeen-music.com.

When I heard the song Soup, I had become a lot more curious to hear a little more by this man. I took it upon myself to go out and get me a copy of an LP of his, and so I got Citizen Awake from One-Up (after having to ask where the hell it was in the store, I couldnt find it in the local artists bit!), to add my bit to this feedback thread, the first review of a whole CD by a local artist.

The cd's cover is nothing spectacular - neither are most bands in Aberdeen. All it is is a photo of someones garden, and his own logo/album title.

The cd opens with the familiar and assuring chime of bells, A Bottle of red wine in the Park. The bells cease as suddenly as they had started, and were thrown into a very The Bends-esque melodic rock ditty. The varied mixture of guitar riffs, along with Ians distinctive voice, takes the listener into a slightly edgy world this opening song, despite its relatively cheerful sounding opening bells, brought me through several senses while listening first a feeling of optimism, the opening part is really rather optimistic sounding, a song about friendship possibly? (Im not good at picking up lyrics really, you could shed some light on this yourself Ian?) When he sings And then the phone rang. at the opening of the chorus, the song comes to life. Backing vocals come out of nowhere, it sounds like Thom Yorke himself is singing, no mean feat, amazing vocal work. The low-end keyboard/vocals (?) at the.never saw each other again. refrain give the feeling that this song is building up, and is about to explode but alas, Ian sticks to his guns, and a poignant and surprising finale ensues. (is that an xylophone at the end of that song?)

The second track, "April in Amsterdam" reminds me a lot of 2+2=5 by Radiohead at the start, looped drums, and a simple yet effective guitar arpeggio making for a strangely calm, level headed intro but then the arpeggios stop, and the chords are being strummed. It keeps going like this, then I was really taken aback here a guitar solo!! And an effective one at that. Just as suddenly were greeted with an airport announcement, and the sound of a fairground being looped backwards. Abrupt ending! He knows how to keep the listener interested. Predictably unpredictable indeed!

The third track, "Change from 3 Points of View" opens with a very Bono-esque vocal. Keeping low key, long lines and the strangest of strange synth noises in the background, its an unusual opening to a song. It then calms down and fluctuates into a good chilling rock song. He has a knack of creating good vocal refrains that stick in your head, well, mine anyway.

Track four is Ians answer to Fitter Happier by Radiohead, a collection of totally random things, a childish synth hook, and looped drums, along with his own ramblings over the top. "Spot the difference".his vocals remind me of Ewan McGregor's bit at the end of Trainspotting, he isnt singing here. Very weird...

"Wintersong" is possibly the most accessible song on the CD. The distorted drums, and simple yet emotional single riff being twisted by some wicked effect makes me think of things I miss, its a real emotional song. Its basically an instrumental, with Ian muttering warnings of someone who has gone missing in the snow. It halts abruptly in the middle of its build, its a Winter song, its Meant to be cold! as Ian, well, coldly puts it. When it restarts it sounds like a different song Queen-style keyboard in the background, building itself up to a distorted, messy grave. Much like the coolest effect in the world used at the end of Karma Police.

Far Off Cry is first song on this cd with a definite bassline, a double bass slowly plucking impending doom out of the equally doomed sound of the guitar/vocals. Its fantastic usage of his instruments. The thing I notice about all of Ians songs is the sudden changes in the middle of them this one has some kind of news report in the middle of it, followed by a short chant of Quick!! (tribute to a favoured local band possibly?) and the most unsettling bout of guitar playing Ive ever heard, its extreme and original use of an instrument not suited to noise like this. It sounds like a part in a horror movie soundtrack when the monster is chasing you

.This theme carries into the intro of the next song, "Snowfall", which makes me feel the same way. Very unsettling, then it calms down, becoming a song the Foo Fighters would be proud of although I must say the guitar playing here reminds me of Everlong a little .it doesnt detract from the song. "Snowfall" is another very accessible song on the cd; its a typical rock song, with drums and all. Theres not much thats out of the ordinary here. An accordion solo adds to the song, along with some distorted humming, possibly a kazoo, and the best vocal part in the album, reverb-ed to oblivion, a distant soul singing a poignant chorus. The keyboard and bass combo at the songs tail end give the song its possibly theme - like the passage from pain to peace.

This next song, Why I Ran in Fear of My Life initially scared the shit out of me; its a very very VERY potent mix of Spanish-style guitar, a cello, and random drum noises in the background. Its fucking scary. Its got a very international feel to it, the accordion riff swings us from Spain to Italy, and then back to home with some Coral-style old fashioned playing, the first time it appears on the cd. The accordion reappears; this song definitely has some kind of European inspiration. Brilliantly written. Id say this is actually the best song on the album.

Still two more to go I wasnt sure at this point if I wanted it to end. Track 9, "Tall Oak", isnt a song. Its a lecture on the fears of the death of trees, and how Ian wants to prove to scientists a point, involving a big tree which he intends to drop on them.

Time for the finale I was expecting nothing less than a big ending to such an epic cd. With a name like Its a Beautiful World, I would imagine something inspiring. I wasnt wrong. It is a perfect mix of a huge number of influences, while keeping Ians distinctive vocal and instrumental style. The song finished too quickly for my liking, unfortunately.

Id imagine Ian knows as well as anyone hes a very talented artist in a genre which essentially died a long time ago, and hes trying to breathe new life into such an exhausted area of music. The solo acoustic ballad is nothing original but what Ian has done to it, mixed it with elements of dance, rock, blues, and capping it with his own trademark random predictably unpredictable moments, has made it more original, made this style of music his own. It has moved me to compare his songs to such great pieces of work by artists like Radiohead, U2, and more dance related bands like UNKLE, etc, and his vocal talents to masters like Thom Yorke, Chris Martin, and Bono. He has a great singing voice which easily outdoes any other local vocalist (sorry guys, but he does) and an instrumental style, which he keeps to his own strengths and plays whatever instrument he wants in a song, and however he wants to play. This is a trait I respect.

All together, a job well done Ian

Best tracks Snowfall, Why I Ran in Fear of My Life, A Bottle of Red Wine in The Park.

Sorry if you think the review is shit! Im not great on huge reviews

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on "Snowfall"! It sounds like it carries an intriguing blend of unsettling and calming vibes, reminiscent of the Foo Fighters' style.

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