House of Tomidas - Dark times!House of Tomidas
Dark times!
Brus & Knaster


It's funny, sometimes, how one look at an album cover will conjure up all sorts of references as to the genre a band will fit into or what other bands they'll sound like. Upon seeing the "Dark times!" cover grunge old-timers Mudhoney spring to mind, mainly due to a loose visual connection with some of their album art. When the music kicks in, though, the comparison couldn't be any more detached. The first thing that's noticeable on this album is Britta Persson's vocal performance, which is altogether more eclectic and burlesque than demonstrated on her solo releases. No straightforward indiepop here; rather a gathering of musicians capable of holding their own at any '30s cabaret, yet easily translatable to the present day. The unique combination of quirky song arrangements coupled with Persson's evocative, haunting voice pours forth images of a vaudevillian French setting and that's a very enjoyable aspect of this album. On the other hand, songs like "Daytime drunk" and "From hand to mouth" offer a more contemporary take on things and it's proof of the genius in the band's composition skills that these sit perfectly with their more eccentric, old-time tunes. "The letter" is the biggest surprise on here, a dark creeper that sits right in the middle of a generally upbeat album and that offers a brooding, heartfelt exuberance that belies the rest of the music. A wonderful debut that will undoubtedly please Persson's mainstream fans while simultaneously drawing in the jazz club hangabouts.
- John Norby