Morr Music, 2012

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


There are a whole lot of things about Fenster that don’t make much sense. First, an ocean divides the band, with members residing in both New York and Berlin. Second, the trio recorded my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Bones before they had even played live together. And third, they might be the first band that can list washing machine as an instrument used on their album. Clearly Fenster is far from conventional, though it’s just that uniqueness that makes this experimental, deconstructed pop band so intriguing.

The brainchild of New Yorker JJ Weihl and Berlin resident Jonathan Jarzyna when they decided to pen ethereal songs that mesh light distortion, melodic chord building and various sounds of the city, Fenster recorded Bones in a mere eight days while trying to dodge windows falling on JJ’s head (unsuccessfully dodging them, that is). Using minimalism in the most effective way possible, they employ dreamy singing matched up with instrumentation that flows between gentle folk, restrained light rock, and plenty of playful, ambient and meticulous instrumentation and really does defy classification. With the abundance of tones and textures here combined with the dual gender vocals each track really does take on a new identity, the same paths rarely being traveled anywhere herein.

Though few comparisons could really do this disc justice, as a reference point think of the stark post-punk of the Velvet Underground mixed with the mystical atmospheres of The Flaming Lips and even some Mazzy Star with the female vocal echoes. Toss in some warm electronica and a healthy dose of experimental, art-rock and you get a listen that isn’t quite like anything out there. Though this doesn’t have the mass appeal that will spark everyone’s interest, those with an ear for the all things atypical will be enamored.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2012 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Morr Music, and is used for informational purposes only.