Winterbrief

Complaints From the Beauty Class

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Washington, D.C., pop duo Winterbrief debuted their playful and eccentric style of indie pop with this ten-song disc on Greenbelt, MD's Hub City Records. The band is quickly reminiscent of a poppier Bis or a slightly more frantic version of Busy Toby, with Jan's sweet vocals dancing over Julian's frenzied guitar work and drum machine. Like many indie acts, the band lists only first names on the disc. The disc's playful game board-style artwork hints at the band's goofiness. "I Want to Be Sexy" is easily the most playful song of the group, with Jan's vocals turning to French during the song, only to later turn to spoken-word English vocals during the blips and beeps that control the song's pace. That song is followed by the playful and energetic "abDC," an obvious tribute to the band's hometown. A steady keyboard and maniacal synthesizer hold together the childish "Art-Loft Rebel." The disc ends with the atmospheric and jumbled "Tricks of the Trade." While Jan's vocals include a riot grrrl attitude, a pleasurable pop appeal is the overriding component to the band's sound. The album was produced by Trevor Kampmann of HollAnd in early 1999.