Music Reviews
Heresy & Rite

Salli Lunn Heresy & Rite

(Hidden Shoal Recordings) Rating - 8/10

Denmark’s music scene has been surprisingly relevant in the last few years. In 2009 alone, Indie-darlings, The Raveonettes, released the critically acclaimed and commercially successful (two tracks were featured on Gossip Girl) record, In and Out of Control. Meanwhile the lesser-known Mew, released an album (that has a title longer than this paragraph) and the result of which gained Mew a place on almost every “Best Of Year” list.

So perhaps Salli Lunn is simply riding the success and subsequent exposure of the Danish alternative rock scene, because I can’t imagine this record getting any attention if it had been released, say, five years earlier.

But despite an unmarketable and untranslatable name (perhaps the name is a Danish take on the Sally Lunn variety of yeast bread?) Salli Lunn has generated some formidable buzz in the blogosphere. But that is probably due to the fact that their debut album, Heresy & Rite is a damn good listen.

What Salli Lunn attempt on this record, is to redefine the entire meaning of post-rock. Instead of a well-rehearsed, concise and cohesive album, Salli Lunn persistently avoid any repetition or similar themes – and take every opportunity to push their music into new territories and expand on their own musicianship. This is a highly risky approach and one that could have easily turned the record into “just another failed attempt at experimentalism.” But on Heresy & Rite, this act of innovation and unpredictability delivers with extreme accuracy.

Lead single, Parachutes Forever is a radio-ready rock anthem, which draws on influences from Linkin Park and Joy Division. A driving intro turns into a hermetically plangent verse and then morphs into a soaring chorus that lifts its obvious dark undertones well beyond mere angst.  Mirror Girl sees a funk riff manipulated into a power-chord tribute to love. Final track, The First Cause, floats between a dream-pop musing and an indie ballad - and then turns into a frenetic juggernaut that completely defies contemporary taxonomy.

With a startlingly lack of predictability and consistency, Heresy & Rite puts a new name on the Danish music map. A name that has no English translation, and could have something to do with bread making: Salli Lunn. Remember this name, for this Danish quartet is here to stay.