Jim Santo's Demo Universe

Collarbone - Carpe This

This came from Nashville but the band's actually from Long Island, N.Y., where now-relocated producer VOID was known for his work in Vampyre Circus, an electro-terror project with industrial DJ Slave (now a member of Bile). Interesting, huh? Now forget it, because that background will not at all prepare you for the sound of Collarbone. Singing Lorin Cirincione bears a striking vocal resemblance to Natalie Merchant, which she's probably sick of hearing but hey, that's not my problem. The light, jazzy touch of her backing band (and guitarist Jay Janoski's penchant for turtlenecks) does little to dispel 10,000 Maniacs comparisons. So be it. I don't mean to say the band's a Collarclone. After the first impression fades, a dark tension and sophistication emerges and Lorin starts sounding less like Merchant and more like Marlena Dietrich or Marianne Faithful (which is certainly preferable). And when she sings in a higher register, as in parts of "Evolve" and "Frost," the effect is delightful and distinctive; she should consider staying up there.

CD received September 27, 1996