· Get out the headphones and crank it up for this self-titled debut.
Sounding best with the headphones on and the volume cranked,
Serena-Maneeshs self-titled full-length debut is a complete and utter mindfuck. Led by the well-known (in Norway) front man Emil Nikolaisen and his half-sister (and Nico look-alike) Elvira Nikolaisen on bass and back-up vocals, the at-times 10-piece noise orchestra know how to give you goose-bumps. They know how to make you lose yourself in a softly lilting dreamlike melody and, best of all, they know how to melt your brain with searing, dissonant multi-layered guitar grooves not unlike My Bloody Valentine.
The latter of these is best exemplified by "Beehiver II," an absolutely awe-inspiring hard rocker with an unending onslaught of pounding, tribal sounding drums, demonically distorted vocals, and an at times frightening wall of wah-wah fuzz. Yet while that song and "Chorale Lick" may have the potential to melt your brain, the album also contains many softer moments, such as the driving opener "Drain Cosmetics," the spastically poppy "Un-Deux" and the hypnotically droning "Her Name Is Suicide," with Elviras ethereal, reverb-drenched vocals fading in and out of the mix.
The albums wide span of sounds finally coalesces with the 12-minute closer "Your Blood in Mine," which has a trippy repetitive introduction and increased tempo until it all fades out into a single, simple piano line. Straddling heaven and hell, Serena-Maneesh make chaos beautiful and beauty chaotic.