The Sandwitches' "Our Toast"

By Daniel Westover

A sing along, this is not. My best comparison would be, if Bauhaus and the Cowboy Junkies got together, and then put in a bit of country twang? That might be The Sandwitches. The vocals are ethereal, and random; octave changes and harmonies occur without warning, and the result is both provocative …and irreproducable.

The backing band is, on the other hand, very predictable. The drums carry on a steady beat, with rarely a fill; the guitar complements perfectly. And – somehow – the mix suggests that the singer and the band may have been continents apart. It seems as though there was a decision made to make the album sound under produced; and it kind of works.

The songs? Opener “Play it Again Dick” is a rambling dirge that drones on and on, very similar to Bauhaus’ “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.” It’s powerful and at least a couple of times the band gets just off rhythm, as if the vocals needed more time. “Miggy,” again a slower track, is reminiscent of Sam Cooke’s “Bring It On Home to Me.” Again, there is a long build up over the melody.  “Wickerman Mamba” is more uptempo, and as much of a guitar showcase as you will find – and the drums are seriously so precise it could have been programmed - but that works: everything else stands out more.

I’m not sure I would recommend this album for me, but for what it sets out to do, it does very well. If you’re in the mood for kind of creepy atmospheric music that’s well played? You will not be disappointed.

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