NAEVUS - SOIL - CD - 10 tracks - S.P.K.R. - 2001

Soil is the second album from this Welsh duo, and is their first release for the Italian label S.P.K.R.. I was quite intrigued when I received this album as the accompanying press release compares their music to DIJ and the Swans. Personally, apart from the acoustic guitar, I didn't hear anything really similar to DIJ, but nonetheless this album is still interesting and original.
The music, based on a simple instrumentation comprising a male voice, an acoustic guitar, a bass and a drum machine sprinkled with a few keyboard effects, is simple and direct and has a distinct 80's sound while retaining some elements of modernity. The songs vary in style from the tense and tight energetic rhythms of "A Nausea", "Harm" and "Function" to the more intimate ballads such as "Desert" and "I was there". This is a coherent and mature album that has transcended it's influences to impose it's own identity. Naevus have produced their own style of urban (neo)folk that possesses that indistinguishable "je-ne-sais-quoi" which makes you want to play the album over and over again....
Strongly recommended !

Ian C.
February 2002