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Serena-Maneesh: Serena-Maneesh

Serena-Maneesh: Serena-Maneesh

Release Date:2006

By Raymond Cummings | Posted 5/31/2006

People are already dismissing newcomer Serena-Maneesh—the latest winner in the internet sweepstakes where an underground sensation strikes blogger gold a year or more before its records actually appears on U.S. shelves without import stickers and eye-popping markup prices—as imitation My Bloody Valentine. But this Norwegian band’s garbage pile of rotting, jumbled anti-tune tuneage is at least equal to the damaged pop on which MBV frontman and infamous procrastinator Kevin Shields built his cult status. And the weapons in Serena-Maneesh’s sonic arsenal—samples, violins, flute, marimba, bass, drums, mounds of mind-blowing, trippy, shooting-star guitar—aren’t puréed into psychedelic slush à la MBV so much as they’re just thrown together in the arena to duke it out for supremacy.

Vocalists Lina Holstrom, Emil Nikolaisen, and Nikolaisen’s sisters Elvira and Hilma inhabit a dreamworld where classic rock, Krautrock, and, yes, shoegaze intersect. Guitars strut purposefully or veer crazily in and out of the mix as drummer Tommy Akerholdt tries to hold it all together. “Anything you want/ Anything you could dream of,” one of the Nikolaisen sisters promises from a few inches below the syrupy surface of a whirlpool of Cherry Coke on “Un-Deux.” “Her Name Is Suicide” lets up on the sonic overload but strands washed-out Elvira vocals over a lumpy, droning fog that’s crunchy with static and dappled with half-awake keyboards, as the whine of Eivind Schou’s lonely violin winds throughout.

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