Compulsion | PO Box 19577 | Kilbarchan |Johnstone | PA10 2WX | Scotland | UK



Big Cocky Man Sinweldi - Is Europe Dying?

Big Cocky Man Sinweldi (BCMS): It's an attention grabber, certainly and the image of a wounded warrior on the cover of the CD conjures a sense of ambiguity. Yet, what of the music that forms Is Europe Dying?? Therein lies the surprise, or maybe not to those already familiar with BCMS. For the music exists in lust sweeps of duel acoustics of which the rhythm and melodic chords are clean and crisp, at times shining with a technical flourish. What is almost immediate with the album is the strong ear for subtle melodies that the artists are so obviously gifted with. While residing more in the genre of Neofolk rather than driven martial tones the musical compositions are deft and very well structured. The keyboard adds to lushness of the acoustics and, in places, (the accordion and harmonica are also employed sparingly and appropriately in places) which may have preempted a move to more stripped-back sounds now being explored by some long established Neofolk artists. 'Rendez Vous' is a good example: the duel acoustics warmed by keyboards, some slight choral sounds and the whole mix evenly balanced to evoke a rich, well layered composition. These aspects are repeated throughout many of the tracks: 'Is Europe Dying?', 'The Colour of the Wind' and 'Song for Clementine' producing strong sensibilities of sound that succeed in terms of musicianship and orchestration. Within the album the lyrics are never smothered, whether delved by song or spoken they retain subtle observations and questions that resound within the geo-political chronologies of Europe. Is Europe Dying? is a surprising album on a number of levels and is awash with fresh and vibrant sounds that promise much for the artists, a reinvigoration of the genre is seeded herein and that fact is down to the talent of BCMS. Is Europe Dying? is an important album because it lifts the spear higher above the heads of many pretenders. For more information go to www.myspace.com/bigcockyman or www.skullline.de (review by Michael Cunningham)