Petur, Knút, Benjamin and all the others

Tuxedo Rebels «Sometimes Thе World Is Dark» (Tutl, 2014)
AVE «Benjamin & Petur» (Tutl, 2014)

In 2014 a good amount of decent LP has been released (take, for instance, Orka with their “Leipzig”). Anyhow, apart from EP of my favourite Guðrið Hansdóttir the two albums of the two absolutely new projects – AVE and Tuxedo Rebels seemed particularly close to me. Yet, familiar musicians are at the back of the brand new names. For instance, main characters of AVE are Petur Pólson and Benjamin Petersen, whereas in Tuxedo Rebels main characters are Knút H. Eysturstein and Petur. Petur Pólson is a link between these two projects and a good reason to write a common review of them.

Just recently Petur in details told me in interview about AVE and Tuxedo Rebels. While an idea of project with Petersen is recent, an idea of Tuxedo Rebels project Petur Pólson and Knút H. Eysturstein appeared a long time ago.

Petur says, “Tuxedo Rebels for me and Knút were first and foremost a way to have fun making covers on the songs of our favourite singers. However, we always wanted to write our own material, but we thought it would never happen this way”.

It appeared to be that it is possible! An old idea of two friends has become the full album with ten solid songs. All songs are in English. This has been done by Petur and Knút deliberately as they supposed an idea of the whole project to be interethnic. It is truly so. Despite the fact that “Sometimes The World Is Dark” has been planned as a kind of a hymn to the nature of the Faroe Islands, it is not concentrated on itself, it can be echoed in everyone. Certainly, we cannot avoid Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Johnny Cash. Accord with them is obvious, but it goes through the prism of their own perception, so one cannot accuse Petur and Knút of borrowings.

Every song on the debut album of Tuxedo Rebels is good and is becoming better if to listen to the album completely, not to pick up single tracks which, from the first sight, are the most appealing. I advise you to take a closer look and listen to the album till the end. You will be awarded with the absolutely enchanting song “Sometimes Thе World Is Dark” and “Staying Blind”.

By the way, Benjamin Petersen also took part in the album recording. While Petur was singing and making texts, Knút and Benjamin were fully playing this magnificence. Knút (by the way, he is the music’s author) was playing the guitar, the keys and the tambourine, whereas Benjamin was playing the electric guitar and the mandolin. The drummer Per I. Højgaard Petersen was responsible for rhythm, Jens L. Thomsen played bass.

In comparison with “Tuxedo Rebels” the album of the project “AVE” is even more personal, but to some extent is consonant with “Sometimes The World Is Dark”. The reason of this is that almost all the same musicians were involved in recording. Mikael Blak joined musicians mentioned above, Bartal Augustinussen and a great musician and, first of all, a great man Teitur Lassen (I will never forget our encounter with him on the Faroe Islands). A decent number of musicians took part in album recording. Unfortunately, some names are unfamiliar to me, but I guess we will find out them in the future.

It seemed to me that the brightest of all the 11 songs recorded on the LP were “Oyðin” (probably, one of the best songs I’ve heard this year from the Faroese musicians) performed by Benjamin, almost Tom Waits’s “Lík líkum” from Petur and final joint get-together “Arr”.

Listening to Tuxedo Rebels и AVE I am becoming convinced more and more that works related to Petur are bound to be great. Particularly, when Benjamin and Knút are related to them.

By the way, albums have been released in two variants: a facilitated one and a superb vinyl records. When I come to the Faroe Islands I hope I will have an opportunity to buy some vinyl records.

Meanwhile you can take a look of what is inside:

Reviewer by Anton Kovalsky.

Translated by Marina Zlatoustova.

Russian version reviewer.