Hailing from Denmark, The Figurines are a four man band consisting of Kristian Colden, Andreas Toft, Christian Hjelm, and Claus Salling Johansen. Skeletons is their first international disc, released in March 7, 2006. Channeling alt-rock akin to the early New York punk scene mixed with Seattle greyness, they are high adrenaline and rock to the core.
“Race You” begins the disc with piano and a sorrowful voice playing over the piano. It feels like a mix between the Killers and Keen. A radio ready ballad, it sounds done right from the start. Nothing new here to see folks. “The Wonder” begins with an old-school punk feel and 80’s style vocals. It’s catchy and makes you want to bob your head, but I can’t get away from the fact that this sounds like so many others. This leads into “All Night” which has a frantic feel with a sound that is pretty much like the track before it. The vocals begin to grit and rub the wrong way. Again, when I say radio ready, I don’t see that as a compliment, considering what radio has become. The Figurines fit in a category with Pavement, Modest Mouse or Built to Spill. “Silver Ponds” has a different feel with basic guitar work and better vox in places. Perhaps I should describe the vox as Pas/calesque vocals in a train-wreck.
“Ambush” has a Halloween party reject feel to it. Attempts are made to put in a So Cal surf feel, but they fail. “Rivalry” begins with sparse guitars and a Sufjanesque style vocal. This is a pleasant change from the rest of the tracks. A certain alt-country feel creeps into the mix, which is actually a nice touch. But, again, there is nothing new here. This song is a mix between The Tyde and The Shins, but done in a less inspired way. Yes, I try not to compare bands with other bands for the sake of the art, but, here, I have no other way of describing this disc since it sounds almost exactly alike. “Other Plans” is very much a Shins style song with similar vocals and arrangements. “Ghost Towns” infuses banjo as a small twist on their sound.
Ok, there are fourteen tracks on this disc, but I would be repeating myself over and over for each tune and figured I would just stop here. I am obviously underwhelmed and unimpressed. If I had something nice to say, it would be that they copy well, but I am uninterested in another photocopy, radio ready band.