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7th September 2004.Feyodor
Aggressive Pedestrian Powertool Records Feyodor, the side project of Ben Barrett from Auckland band Joed Out, displays a softer melodic pop side, than the D.I.Y
alternative rock approach a` la Flying Nun of the latter. This is Feyodor’s second full release, recorded during Barrett’s O.E
. in Finland and enlists the help of Powertool records label-mate Mikael H and the ‘Siberians’. The Finns must have exceptional talents outside of rally driving, as Aggressive Pedestrian is a superbly produced album and Mikael and friends contribute much more than your average session musicians.
That is not to undermine the song writing skills of Ben Barrett, whose charming prose is easily warmed to. The opening track ‘Don’t Mess with the dude’ with lyrics “Tomorrow’s always sunny/ I’ll sit on the grass and drink lemon and honey” comes off reminiscent of the ‘Shoe-Gazing’ style of Pavement and The Eels. However this optimistic outlook darkens at times, through the melancholic balladry of 'Sandpit' (“Crying when there’s nothing left to be said/and it only shows this sandpit we have to outgrow”) and takes a pragmatic approach on 'Sun City' (“I say Intelligence works better than romance/you could try arrogance but she might take offence”). The vocals plateau at a whining croon throughout the most of the album, which tends to get tiresome and often falls short of fulfilling the songs’ potential. In any instance though, the instrumental backing sets a lustrous mood of warmth through a variety of forms.
From the silky touch of brushes on the skins to the mellifluous string arrangements, Feyodor takes much benefit from the inventive yet precise musicianship of the Finnish backing band. This is an accomplished effort from a proficient songwriter who must have gained invaluable enlightenment from the recording experience. Whether this comes through on his next album will remain to be seen, but on this effort, Feyodor has hit the mark, with a little help from his friends.
(8 out of 10)-Yeti