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6 out of 10
Comparisons to Tori Amos are expected when listening to Mimes of Wine, but after repeat listens to the haunting "Apocalypse Sets In" it becomes apparent that unlike the cornflake girl there is a more of a twisted beauty to her vocals that could compared to Joanna Newsome or Diamandas Galas; who personally scares the bejebus out of me!
The main thing the listener will notice is the ambient scratching and tinkering that fills any gap in the music. Add to this a wide range of instruments (which if I listed here, would take up most of the review) that envelop Laura's vocals which drift in and out of the foreground like the tide on a moonlit beach. Her voice is stunning and at times has a touch of Jeff Buckley to it (especially the track "Long Listing Road") and a touch of "psycho ex" to it.
"Vernal" is a highlight, maybe because its one of the only tracks with a recognisable melody and actual beat, apart from "Oberkampf" which has an odd ragtime skiffle interlude. The final track "Fishes" builds up to a climax of clanging metal, her voice intertwined with clarinet and kept in place with a fast beat.
I imagine Mime of Wine would be very good live, stumbled upon in a basement bar after too much Absinthe, becoming completely engrossed by her tales of loss and despair.
Finishing the album the listener is left thinking "Oh, ok. Was that it?!" as the lack of cohesion in songs does let the album down in places, as each song meanders to its conclusion.
Mimes of Wine are very much a late night, music to drift off to, kind of band. You will probably have uneasy dreams, but you can always wake up... unlike Laura who sounds like she's trapped in limbo and quite enjoying it.
6. Long Lifting Road
8. From a forsaken bow