The Attic Ends are a female-fronted ethereal indie rock band from Brooklyn. Each band member came from wildly different backgrounds in music, from a singer who spent three years in a Germany-based pop act, to a keyboard player with classical and Afro-Caribbean inclinations and a drummer who paid his dues on the hard rock circuit. Like all good bands, though, they demonstrate on ‘The Sky Begins (Part One)’ that the experiences of their varied CVs can be put to positive use.
It’s important for a new act to make an arresting start to an album and The Attic Ends could not have begun in more convincing fashion than ‘Fortress’. If the problem with female-fronted bands is that often the female dominates so much that the band members seem more like session musicians for their singer’s solo career, ‘Fortress’ pours scorn over that worry as they provide strong rhythmic and melodic backing to match the intensity of Samantha Rex’s vocals. Yet ‘Garden’ and ‘The Real You’ are a little more wayward with guitarist Pete Hur and Rex seemingly trying to out-perform each other. Happily, these are the only real missteps on an otherwise good album. ‘Giving Up’ reclaims the mojo, as it were. It’s a much subtler, moodier affair than ‘Fortress’ but what it lacks in melodrama it makes up for in atmosphere. Keyboard player Jan Christiansen comes to the fore for the melancholic soul-baring of ‘Somebody Found Out’; another powerful showcase for Rex. Finally, the shuffling percussion on ‘Your Light’ reveals the importance of Bob King’s crisp and precise drumming.
There may be a couple of occasions when band and singer seem to be at odds with each other but the counter-argument is that it never did a certain Mr. Marr and Mr. Morrissey any harm on records by The Smiths. So long as these different influences can be channelled in the right way, there’s a sense of more good things to come from The Attic Ends which all bodes well for ‘The Sky Begins (Part Two)’ of course.
All About Eve, Ending People