Design By Humans
Published On: Fri, Mar 27th, 2015

Artur U & the New City Limits: Holiday from Eternity

arturArtur U & the New City Limits
Holiday from Eternity
(Tuohi Records)

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Tight toms lead a flompy, snakey rhythm of opener “Another Day” of Finland’s Artur U & the New City Limits’ debut, Holiday from Eternity. Although U’s steel guitar is evidenced in this first track, it is stronger and cutting on the darker “Monkey House,” which again Toni Mäntylä gets that tom beat plodding, and the harmony vocals from percussionist and Johanna Saarinen lifts us from the distinctive, but limited voice of U.  There is a thick, interesting bridge here where the players truly do sound like a full unit and not just U’s backing band.

The poppy “Elevator” sees Saarinen up front more with her vocals, Tuomas Orasmaa’s keys and Miika Suomalainen’s bass jumping out front with her. “Wind” sets a good, dark mood with keys and low toms and again a sweeter Saarinen floating over U (he at least knows enough when to get out of the way). This might be the best tune here for me, U’s steel guitar infuses some single-note bends and Suomalainen’s subtlety here are so sweet. Orasmaa’s key lead is perfectly placed, lifting the whole concoction.

“Mechanical Dream” sees the band as just noisy and kinetic as they mine some late 80’s Ultravox territory. “White Horses” roils low over toms and bass and Saarinen’s percussion. Again, the duet vocal sets well as things explode into tight moments of single-note keys and U’s overdriven lead.

“The Secret,” with its blurping keys and swirling cymbals, ends the 10 songs. Bass picks up, as U and Saarinen barely articulate over a tom and distortion backing that just rises a tune that maybe overstays its welcome slightly.

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Artur U & the New City Limits: Holiday from Eternity