Stream City - Hoax

12 songs
46:42 minutes
***** ****
Prime Collective


The four Danes from Stream City come from the small island Bornholm which has a population of a little over 40.000 people. The crazy sound of their debut album Hoax should still delight people far across the Scandinavian borders. Band name and album title donít even sound very spectacular, but the strange mystical cover artwork should be incentive enough to have a closer look at the music. Stream City describe their music as proggy folk rock and adventure rock, and no matter how confusing this may sound, it somehow fits perfectly.

The album starts with a short intro with a dominating guitar. The first regular track Poltergeist offers fun shifts between melodic and hectic moments. This is a very catchy song and an instant pleaser, making hungry for more. The mix of melodic pop punk ŗ la Bad Religion and Balkan styled folk may sound unusual but works incredibly fine. Often folk rock bands make the mistake of emphasising too strongly on the classical elements of their music, but with Stream City the balance is just right. The melodic as well as the heavier tracks, the latter often close to the folk metal genre, always display an incredible joy of playing. On Witchhunt, which reminded me a little of World/Inferno Friendship Society, the band is trumping up with virtuoso arrangements to soon develop into chaos in a most fascinating way. The fast performed Dying Suns comes with Klezmer elements, and the concluding Clock Of Immortality comes with a progressive touch, making this something like a tribute to the early Genesis. The only weaker track is Epoch Of Revolution, a tamer track that sounds like a little bolder version of the Levellers.

All in all, Hoax is one of the most refreshing albums of the year. Even if it was released already last winter, it is still a perfect soundtrack for this yearís hot summer. The running time is just optimal, as more than three quarters of an hour uptempo folk rock would border on self-indulgence. Itís been a fun ride after all!

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