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Architecture In Helsinki - In Case We Die (Cover Artwork)

Architecture In Helsinki

Architecture In Helsinki: In Case We DieIn Case We Die (2005)
International News

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: benzbenz
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Do you like Animal Collective? Do you like the Flaming Lips? Do you like the Decemberists? Do you like the Arcade Fire? Do you like the Unicorns? Okay, there it is. I could've sworn I read a negative review of this album on this site awhile ago. Whatever sort of parallel world of H.
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Do you like Animal Collective?

Do you like the Flaming Lips?

Do you like the Decemberists?

Do you like the Arcade Fire?

Do you like the Unicorns?

Okay, there it is.

I could've sworn I read a negative review of this album on this site awhile ago. Whatever sort of parallel world of HTML or momentary net-surfing hallucination it was lost in, I can tell you that I would absolutely disagree with whatever points it brought up. The review, which I will chalk up to one-time late night schizophrenia (if someone can find me a link to it, that would rock), was part of the reason I didn't check it out.

Every review of this album refused to give me a genre. That was another confusing sign that kept me from wanting to know more. I always hate when reviewers can't tell me what a band sounds like, but Architecture In Helsinki do a damn good job of avoiding the niceties of genre conformity. And since every review of this album would tip-toe around throwing this band into a genre, I want to write a review that can tell the world semi-accurately just what these noises are. The best way to describe music is to compare it to other music that is already known. So the following is just what In Case We Die actually sounds like.

The album opens with Decemberists-style bravado. Much like the Neutral Milk Hotel lovers, Architecture In Helsinki have a firm grasp on the theatrics of music. Their Broadway-style delivery on some songs recalls a danced-up version of the Decemberists' "A Cautionary Song" or "I Was Meant For The Stage." This theatricality is supplemented by the band's 8 members, each of them playing some sort of instrument (41 different instruments are used throughout the album). "Wishbone" is so theatrical in its delivery that it sounds like an indie rock version of the Grease soundtrack.

This incredible multi-instrumentalism calls to mind indie over-buzz band of the past year the Arcade Fire. The exuberance and energy of both co-ed indie rock supergroups is immediately comparable. They both have a subdued yet large scale sound. Arcade Fire's "Haiti" and Architecture In Helsinki's "Need To Shout" could easily be on the same album by a single band. But please, don't assume that this is just a band catching onto the hot new trend, as both bands formed at almost exactly the same time on literally opposite sides of the world (Canada vs. Australia, since you asked).

Architecture, however, tend to lean more towards faster-paced songs than either the Decemberists or the Arcade Fire. One of the first bands I was reminded of when I heard "In Case We Die" was the Unicorns. Architecture In Helsinki (yeah, the name is cumbersome after about the third time you say it) stick to each of their ideas an average of about 30 seconds before they move onto something completely new. The title track is divided into 4 very different parts, and the song is only three-and-a-half minutes long! These songs are relatively synth-heavy, much like the Unicorns. Also, both bands have very similar vocal delivery and the lyrical content of both are very whimsical in nature (hey, you find a better word). Maybe when the post-Unicorns side project -- the sonically identical Islands -- gets an album out, they can have a perfect tour lineup with Architecture.

The Animal Collective is easily compared to these guys, simply because both are extremely earthy, beautiful groups. End discussion.

The final band I will compare here is the Flaming Lips. Maybe it's the outright lovability of both groups, but I feel that fans of the Lips would definitely enjoy Architecture. The Flaming Lips revel in cute psychedelia, something that this band is extremely comfortable with. That ghost review that bothered me so much said that this band was trying to copy the Polyphonic Spree. I will say right now, the Polyphonic Spree merely apes off of the Flaming Lips and would love to produce an album of the quality of In Case We Die.

The other Punknews review of this album, real or not, was misguided. This album is incredible. Every track is good, and there is nothing stopping me from calling this the best album I've heard all year. If you like the Decemberists, the Arcade Fire, the Unicorns, the Animal Collective, and/or the Flaming Lips, you NEED to check this album out. If you're at all like me, you've needed something refreshing to come from your stereo recently. If nothing else, check out the obscenely catchy dance pop of "Do The Whirlwind" and the jungle warmth of "Maybe You Can Owe Me."

If that other review does exist, I propose it be done away with for real and replaced with this review. This is some good shit.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (July 18, 2005)

get the fuck over it! damn this site would be boring if all the music reviews were only "punk" bands. punk is a genre of music that has a hell of a lot of sub categories, and as far as i'm concerned indie is one of them. i don't see why people have a problem with reading a review like this right after checking out the archives for a dead kennedys review or something.
and the pitchfork comparisons are just old. if you're going to say shit at least be clever about it.

Anonymous (July 17, 2005)

This website is now called Pitchfork Jr. I heard The New Lows off of a Deep Elm Comp, This is Indie Rock. Sounded Tight. Downloading the EP right now...good bands giving away good music...They "must be on drugs"...new weezer sucks...shameless diss

Anonymous (July 17, 2005)

The New Lows FREE EP is available on their site www.thenewlows.net You can also download a sweet track from them "Cold Shivers" at the itunes store.

Anonymous (July 17, 2005)

this website shouldn't be named punknews.org any longer.

Anonymous (July 16, 2005)

whats the new lows ep call?

Anonymous (July 16, 2005)

Just downloaded The New Lows FREE EP. Can't wait for their full length. When is this band going to get some fucking exposure. How about a review....oops i forgot punknews just reviewed arcade fire...so if i do the math correctly with my TI-83 Plus...The New Lows review will be available....

Anonymous (July 16, 2005)

Another band with a couple of decent tracks. I hope everyone downloaded this album for free. Money doesnt grow on trees. i'll still busy with the new lows EP.

Anonymous (July 15, 2005)

Fun, FUN stuff.

I freakin' love it.

Always brings a smile to my face.

LevitateMe (July 15, 2005)

Exactly. And in the "about the site" section it says that indie is one of the genres discussed on this site and this band would be considered indie.

benz (July 15, 2005)

Some punks or former punks would enjoy this album very much. That's why this review is here.

-benz

rkl (July 15, 2005)

i understand that the site reviews many things that aren't punk, and i don't solely listen to punk...

but to expect people not to question why certain things, such as this, are reviewed on this site is inane. i don't just listen to punk, but you won't see me dropping kyuss reviews on here.

LevitateMe (July 15, 2005)

You're putting a lot of words into my mouth. I do think the "wtf this isn't punk and the site's called punknews wtf???" comments on every other review or news article are stupid, but not punk or (some) punks. I do still enjoy punk and I was a punk when I was younger. People just need to realize that this site is about more than just punk. I guess it's called punknews because most of the content is punk or punk related, but that doesn't all of it has to be.

stevejonestherealbones (July 15, 2005)

"-rkl(also christ.)"

youre jesus?

- jones the bones

benz (July 15, 2005)

I think stuff like this is allowed to be reviewed here, because punk is like a gateway drug to other underground music.

Sure, I used to listen to a lot of punk, but moving on to other things is a natural progression.

Although making fun of punk kids for not being open-minded is close minded in itself.

-benz

rkl (July 15, 2005)

LevitateMe: thanks for assuming that, as a registered user, ive never bothered to read a FAQ. i realize that not listening to indie music makes me an idiot in your eyes, but i try, i really do. nevertheless, the site's name remains unchanged.

since im just a stupid punk, ill end this comment by requesting that you go fuck yourself. thanks.

mjg (July 15, 2005)

the cover art is super-sweet as well

kirbypuckett (July 15, 2005)

I love this.

- Kirby

LevitateMe (July 15, 2005)

http://www.punknews.org/aboutus.php

that's why

Anonymous (July 15, 2005)

Architecture In Helsinki - In Case We Die
Posted by Anonymous on 2005-07-15 00:17:02
My Score:

this album is fun, i give it an 8. Let the "punks" begin their whinging..... now!
this comment is like someone going to www.bestiality.com and complaining because they saw a picture of a dog fucking a woman.

honestly, if you dont like punk or punks, why come to this site? i could understand the degredation if this were pitchfork or buddyhead, but this happens to be punknews.org. christ.

-rkl(also christ.)

Anonymous (July 15, 2005)

what was this negative review you spoke of?

benz (July 15, 2005)

Freddy Got Fingered.

How I recognized that I do not know, and am ashamed to admit. Worst movie ever. It's so bad that it makes it watchable.

-benz

stevejonestherealbones (July 15, 2005)

you're fired. YOU'RE FIRED!!

you're fucking fired bob!

I told you to wire the money to geneva last week!

I say GENEVAAAAA you hear HELSINKI!!! HUH????????????

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

- score is for what i wrote and where it comes from

maverick (July 15, 2005)

"It'5!" and "Do The Whirlwind" are some of the best jams of 2005. This band is absolutely incredible live. I've rarely had more fun at a show. This album is great; the one before this is a little more spotty, but still worth picking up if you dig this.

-Scott

etwiels88 (July 15, 2005)

Hehe this album is pretty original. I love 'Tiny Paintings'.

Anonymous (July 15, 2005)

hype behind it, haha.

there is little hype behind me, at least not that I know of.

:)

Anonymous (July 15, 2005)

I really hoped to like this cd, seeing as how I still love "Blueberry Boat" by Fiery Furnances as much as I did on the 1st spin.

I agree with the reviewers comment that this is a very theatrical cd, much like the Animal Collective, but I find it to have little substance.

It has it's moments, tracks 2,4, and especially 7 are so childishly fun.

So I wouldn't recommend it, but I can understand the hype behind me.

LevitateMe (July 15, 2005)

One of my favorites of the year. But yeah, it's an 8

Anonymous (July 15, 2005)

this album is fun, i give it an 8. Let the "punks" begin their whinging..... now!

Anonymous (July 15, 2005)

lets call this the progressive twee pop

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