Sergio reviews The Sick-Leaves’ The Last Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Artist Name: The Sick-Leaves
Album Name: The Last Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
Genre: Alternative Rock
Over the past 5 years, Eksteen Jacobsz has managed to take his solo project, The Sick-Leaves, from obscurity to the eyes and ears of the local music industry – even securing 2 SAMA nominations with his first 2 releases. However, it seems like Eksteen is now focused on actually turning nominations into awards as he unleashes his latest effort, The Last Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Produced and mixed by Darryl Torr at the SABC’s M5 studios, you immediately notice that the songs are shorter and more straight to the point than previous releases. Eksteen himself has admitted that he’s a sucker for riffs and lyrics, but took a conscious decision to take a ‘less is more’ approach to this album. With that being said, there are still plenty of glorious licks and solos to keep lead guitar fans happy – seriously, this guy can rip it up on guitar and is making sure that virtuoso playing never dies.
One of the major criticisms I have of local music is the lack of experimentation with guitar sound, with many bands just adopting the plug ’n play approach and not giving a single thought to finding the right tone or frequency. Thankfully, The Last Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy is the exception to the rule. According to Eksteen, they used 4 different guitars and planned each section of the song before the actual production – it’s obvious for you to hear, because the sound is just so epic!
The Sick-Leaves’ The Last Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy is a refined, artistic collection of songs. If you’re seeking an album, which concentrates more on music as an art than a generic commercial vehicle, look no further than this effort. Highly recommended.