I must warn you: the following review has an high fangirl level, which in this case was a pretty damn good thing, as Algernon Doll and his sophomore ‘Citalo-Pop’ did fulfill my expectations. Already famous for his unique blend of lo-fi alt-folk and hardcore, Ewan Grant released the debut ‘Camomile’ in 2012, and soon his Algernon Doll awoke the attention of both the audience and the blogosphere.
The debut ‘Camomile’ was such an emotional and tormented journey, that probably emulating it would have been an insult to its dark fragility. Indeed, ‘Citalo-Pop’ moves forward, and proves a sensible maturation of Algernon Doll as an artists, even if it draws more into Ewan’s punk and hardcore background than the debut. Back to the origins almost to express a sense of liberation and rebellion from the restless interior struggle of ‘Camomile’.
‘Citalo-Pop is bursting with a unique kind of energy, corrupted by infectious opener bursts from the blocks, fuzzed guitar riffs and incessant drums (‘Anti-them’). Even the more mellow Elliott Smith-resembling tracks are intoxicated by this urge of blasting into a stream of abrasive guitar lines, in an endless supplication (‘Home Schooled’). Coolin down from the fuzzy-stom, 43-second-long ‘Citalo-Pop’ still emphasises on the presence of a dark side, left whispering its litany before fading. Masterpieces of the release are ‘Falling in Love with Those Above’ and the following ‘No Hands’: both of the tracks open with finger-picking and a minimal, sleek approach, before exploding in sudden peaks of noise re-defining the spirit and ethos of hardcore.
‘Citalo-pop’ is an album that talks to each listener: it tells, it whispers, it cries and screams, secretly aching with weariness and longing. This is best advice that I could ever give you: take your time and just listen to what it has to say to you.
‘Citalo-pop’ is due for release on 10th June 2013 via Common Records.