Zambri: House of Baasa (Kanine) 

The Zambri sisters' voices recall Siouxsie Sioux, almost to distraction.

Part of House of Baasa's dark frisson comes from how it carries on Sioux's particular legacy, though it has less of the murky pulse of Kaleidoscope's "Christine" (though the Baasa song "Hundred Hearts" comes closest to that kind of minimalism, while cheekily suggesting the main riff to Berlin's "Take My Breath Away") and more of the symphonic clutter of Superstition's "Kiss Them for Me."

While nothing on House of Baasa is as pop as "Kiss Them for Me," it does take that song's "more is more" philosophy to heart. House of Baasa is an ornate, almost baroque, album. There are so many sound effects on most tracks that one may be turned off by the lack of restraint. "Carry" literally overruns with noise—sonic burbling, static and disembodied voices buried in the fuzz. But the sumptuousness is the thrill here.

While Zambri is like Siouxsie vocally, the music doesn't have the Banshees' droll nihilism. The looping cacophony of sirens and distortion that underlies—and overlays—these 10 songs often has more in common with the syrupy whirlwinds on early My Bloody Valentine recordings like "Drive It All Over Me" or "Emptiness Inside." But this is fused with a distinctive dance sensibility. One might call it gothic disco for new-millennial blitz kids. This aesthetic carries through the stronger first half, while things get almost turgid in the latter half on songs like "From the Starts."

More by Sean Bottai


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