Holiday from Eternity Rock, New Wave Artur U & the New City Limits I'm not sure I can quite get my head around new Helsinki-based band Artur U and the New City Limits. First of all, their bio says we're dealing with a steel guitar player as a frontman, but I don't see or hear any steel guitar in their work, at least what I recognize as steel guitar. Maybe Vocalist and guitarist Artur U uses it in a totally new and weird way with which I am unfamiliar. That leads me to my second question about this band, and it's with regards to pinpointing their sound. We've got rock, a phantom steel guitar, sort of jazzy bass, all with kind of an indie flair to the whole thing. All of those styles mashed together in that way makes this new band tough to classify. It almost feels like Artur U put together their first album, "Holiday from Eternity" specifically to baffle music critics. If that was their goal, mission accomplished, Artur U. I am thoroughly perplexed, but I also happen to love this wacky mix they've got going. It's like potato chips - I can't stop listening to it, and it's in part because I'm trying to figure it out. It's like a mental jigsaw puzzle. Now let me see if I can try to describe it to our fair readers. Artur U & the New City Limits name some of their influences as Iggy Pop, Lou Reed and steel guitar legend Robert Randolph. I hear a lot more 80s style than they're admitting to, especially in Tuomas Orasmaa's synths. Artur U's vocals remind me a little of Mark Hollis from Talk Talk, while Johanna Saarinen's vocals, who almost always echo Artur U's, sound similar to the female vocals of a very obscure band from the 80s called Latin Quarter. There is an overall similar feeling to Latin Quarter and bands like them coming off this group. If you don't know Latin Quarter well, an apt comparison might be some of the more relaxed Psychedelic Furs stuff. For the most part I'd say we're looking at 80s throwback prog rock/indie medley, if that's a thing. "Holiday from Eternity" was released in February of this year, and the band have released two singles from it already. The video for 'On a Holiday' was posted on Youtube in October as a preview to the album's release, and after squinting at the very negatived-out film style of director Rasmus Flinck for a long time, I was able to see which band member was Artur U and he is in fact playing the steel guitar. It looks at though he is indeed including this instrument - which I had mentally relegated to only blues and country - in a number of other styles. In 'On a Holiday,' he makes it sound like 80s metal, shredding with it in a way which shocked me. A very important piece of the puzzle has fallen into place. The second single released from Holiday from Eternity is called 'Monkey House' and it also has a corresponding Youtube video; a motion stop animation piece which the band have classed as a 'short flim' by Vilhelmiina Koskinen and Elias Enkvist. This song is a little more of an indie/college rock style than 'On a Holiday,' but still very 80s. I can hear traces of Pixies, Peter Gabriel and The Velvet Underground, so this seems like this may be a more definitive style for Artur U & the New City Limits. 'On a Holiday' and 'Monkey House' seem to be a good cross section of Artur U and the New City Limits' sound overall. The album vacillates between hard rock-driven power songs with heavy synths and more ballad-style indie tracks. Another recommended song, 'Wind,' is a slow, very 80s-sounding almost new wave track which showcases Artur U's steel guitar work in a much more conventional way, as with very little other accompaniment we can hear that more ethereal and American country-inspired sound from it. Currently, it seems the only tracks which are available to stream without purchasing "Holiday from Eternity" are 'On a Holiday' and 'Monkey House,' and they're available on Soundcloud or via the Youtube videos. Just where to purchase the album was another question mark I had to find the answer to, as the album is said to be distributed by Playground Music, a pretty well-known European group, but the only place I saw it available was on Recordshopx.com. That site shows their label as Tuohi Records, the website for which I also couldn't find. Suffice it to say the indie scene in Finland is very indie indeed, and here's hoping the album becomes more widely distributed shortly. In the meantime the Recordshopx link is displayed in our 'store' section. Artur U & the New City Limits sent me on a mad wild goose chase trying to figure out what they are all about, but was a search that was well worthwhile. Their style is interesting and very well-put together, and the added novelty of Artur U himself creating all those different guitar sounds with a steel guitar is really interesting. I truly hope more information turns up about this band, and in the meantime I think the album "Holiday from Eternity" is worth dashing off to obscure Finnish websites to purchase, especially since myself and Brutal Resonance have now given our readers a one-click option. Happy brow-furrowing! 450
Brutal Resonance

Artur U & the New City Limits - Holiday from Eternity

8.5
"Great"
Released off label 2015
I'm not sure I can quite get my head around new Helsinki-based band Artur U and the New City Limits. First of all, their bio says we're dealing with a steel guitar player as a frontman, but I don't see or hear any steel guitar in their work, at least what I recognize as steel guitar. Maybe Vocalist and guitarist Artur U uses it in a totally new and weird way with which I am unfamiliar.

That leads me to my second question about this band, and it's with regards to pinpointing their sound. We've got rock, a phantom steel guitar, sort of jazzy bass, all with kind of an indie flair to the whole thing. All of those styles mashed together in that way makes this new band tough to classify. It almost feels like Artur U put together their first album, "Holiday from Eternity" specifically to baffle music critics. If that was their goal, mission accomplished, Artur U. I am thoroughly perplexed, but I also happen to love this wacky mix they've got going. It's like potato chips - I can't stop listening to it, and it's in part because I'm trying to figure it out. It's like a mental jigsaw puzzle. Now let me see if I can try to describe it to our fair readers.

Artur U & the New City Limits name some of their influences as Iggy Pop, Lou Reed and steel guitar legend Robert Randolph. I hear a lot more 80s style than they're admitting to, especially in Tuomas Orasmaa's synths. Artur U's vocals remind me a little of Mark Hollis from Talk Talk, while Johanna Saarinen's vocals, who almost always echo Artur U's, sound similar to the female vocals of a very obscure band from the 80s called Latin Quarter. There is an overall similar feeling to Latin Quarter and bands like them coming off this group. If you don't know Latin Quarter well, an apt comparison might be some of the more relaxed Psychedelic Furs stuff. For the most part I'd say we're looking at 80s throwback prog rock/indie medley, if that's a thing.

"Holiday from Eternity" was released in February of this year, and the band have released two singles from it already. The video for 'On a Holiday' was posted on Youtube in October as a preview to the album's release, and after squinting at the very negatived-out film style of director Rasmus Flinck for a long time, I was able to see which band member was Artur U and he is in fact playing the steel guitar. It looks at though he is indeed including this instrument - which I had mentally relegated to only blues and country - in a number of other styles. In 'On a Holiday,' he makes it sound like 80s metal, shredding with it in a way which shocked me. A very important piece of the puzzle has fallen into place.

The second single released from Holiday from Eternity is called 'Monkey House' and it also has a corresponding Youtube video; a motion stop animation piece which the band have classed as a 'short flim' by Vilhelmiina Koskinen and Elias Enkvist. This song is a little more of an indie/college rock style than 'On a Holiday,' but still very 80s. I can hear traces of Pixies, Peter Gabriel and The Velvet Underground, so this seems like this may be a more definitive style for Artur U & the New City Limits.

'On a Holiday' and 'Monkey House' seem to be a good cross section of Artur U and the New City Limits' sound overall. The album vacillates between hard rock-driven power songs with heavy synths and more ballad-style indie tracks. Another recommended song, 'Wind,' is a slow, very 80s-sounding almost new wave track which showcases Artur U's steel guitar work in a much more conventional way, as with very little other accompaniment we can hear that more ethereal and American country-inspired sound from it.

Currently, it seems the only tracks which are available to stream without purchasing "Holiday from Eternity" are 'On a Holiday' and 'Monkey House,' and they're available on Soundcloud or via the Youtube videos. Just where to purchase the album was another question mark I had to find the answer to, as the album is said to be distributed by Playground Music, a pretty well-known European group, but the only place I saw it available was on Recordshopx.com. That site shows their label as Tuohi Records, the website for which I also couldn't find. Suffice it to say the indie scene in Finland is very indie indeed, and here's hoping the album becomes more widely distributed shortly. In the meantime the Recordshopx link is displayed in our 'store' section.

Artur U & the New City Limits sent me on a mad wild goose chase trying to figure out what they are all about, but was a search that was well worthwhile. Their style is interesting and very well-put together, and the added novelty of Artur U himself creating all those different guitar sounds with a steel guitar is really interesting. I truly hope more information turns up about this band, and in the meantime I think the album "Holiday from Eternity" is worth dashing off to obscure Finnish websites to purchase, especially since myself and Brutal Resonance have now given our readers a one-click option. Happy brow-furrowing! Mar 22 2015

Off label

Official release released by the artist themselves without the backing of a label.

Layla Marino

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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