Rumskib: Rumskib

Half a minute into Rumskib's self-titled debut album and that familiar but glorious shoegaze roar kicks in with Tine Louise Kortermand's angelic voice soaring over the guitar blaze of partner Keith Canisius. The Danish duo's anthemic pop samplings receive more than a little help from Jonas Munk (Manual) who programmed beats, contributed electronic sounds, and played synthesizer. Though derivative (listeners of a certain age will hear echoes of Lush, My Bloody Valentine, Simple Minds, Curve, Cocteau Twins), Rumskib attacks its material with such gusto it's impossible not to get swept up by the cyclone. One easily surrenders, for instance, to the guitar-drenched howl, multi-layered harmonies, and drum crunch of “Springtime” and the massive climax that caps “Dreampoppers Tribute.” Rumskib isn't all high-decibel roar, however. The restrained verses in “Dreampoppers Tribute” gives Kortermand's soft voice a nice spotlight, and the group smartly eases the intensity with soundscape interludes of dreamy, reverb-drenched character ( “Ferris Wheel Blackout,” “You're My Japan,” “Love at First Sight”). Sometimes Rumskib alternates quieter verses with huge choruses (“Crucial Love Games”) while at others stokes the fire from beginning to end (“Hearts On Fire”). The grungier “Sneak” is anomalous for being conspicuously more lethal than the rest of the album but otherwise Rumskib impresses as a more than credible representative of the shoegaze genre.

June 2007