Featured Album: Angel B by Film
FILM: ANGEL B (EMI Greece)
WHO: Modern rockers from Athens in Greece, whose local popularity was enough to get them on the bill with New Order, Hooverphonic and Radio 4 at the Ejekt Festival there in June, where I saw them and fell for them.
WHAT: Angular, arty, occasionally aggressive, frequently derivative but constantly entertaining new-wave influenced four-piece. The band is best described visually as a cross between Interpol and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, with vocalist Eleni Tzavara the kind of striking front woman that young men often profess to stalk.
WHY: “Film’s new album can be described as a concept album, where the song are a cut-up of cinematic scenes. the cuts are quick and melancholic, raging and nostalgic…” From the group’s web-site.
WINNERS: On ‘Away To Say Goodbye,’ Tzavara screams like (her evident idol) Karen O; on ‘Alarm,’ she does a more-than-passable impression of Kate Bush, and whenever bassist Dmitris Borsis butts in with spoken words, as on the opener ‘Stop Stop,’ Film remind us how good were The Sugarcubes. (It doesn’t help that ‘Stop Stop’ actually includes a lyrical reference to “cubes of sugar.”) So, okay, it’s true, Tzavara often can’t escape her influences. But the band itself has a hard-driving sound that’s somewhat more original, and when Tzavara finds her own voice, as on the finale ‘SSS!’, the combination is thrilling.
WORDS: “If I can’t have you/if I can’t have you/I get crossdressed and visit my house as if I were you.” (‘Away To Say Goodbye.’) For someone’s second language, that’s a mighty horny line.
WHINE: There’s more noise than substance here; for all that I love Film in theory, I can’t put hand on heart and say there’s one song here you simply have to own. And yes, obviously we’d prefer Tzavara to sound less like her heroines and more like herself.
WEB: Filmband.gr is a Flash-heavy site that appears to confirm the group’s local popularity. (Or, perhaps, just EMI Greece’s investment.) Check the Greek side of the site if you want to brush up on your classics.
WINE: Because I will always associate this group with the Athenian sunshine, it’s obvious I’m going to recommend a Greek wine. There’s no shortage of good ones; if Greece has yet to establish a reputation for its modern rock, it hardly need make excuses for its grape varietals. The Roxanne Matsa Attica Malagousia, made just outside Athens, is a superb example of Greece’s history and promise.