Gitbox

Soulsharks

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Dutch trio Gitbox returned with 1998's Soulsharks, an 18-song epic. On the first track, "A Nice Walk Home," the band is reminiscent of Containe, as they somberly tip toe through the gentle and short song. The trio of vocalist Roeland Van Niele, guitarist Maarten Verdwaald, and drummer Peter Palermo had already traveled the world with their brand of modest and minimalist lo-fi rock. Carol Van Dijk of Bettie Serveert adds her bittersweet backing vocals on "You Kill Me," adding a soothing component to the song. The pace picks up on the Western twang of "Bubble." The relaxed pop of "Pigeon" is a definite highlight, with the mildly distorted backdrop, and with Van Niele's vocals prominently featured on top. His vocals echo on "My Boys Can Swim," while they rise throughout the chaotic "Keep Your Head on Straight." The gentle and blissful sounds return on "Not Waving." The band ends the disc with one of their most stylish and relaxed efforts ever, "Every Crooner." The band's intricate and mesmerizing sound is executed quite admirably throughout. Van Niele's slow and nasal vocals are gentle enough to elicit comparisons to a Scandinavian version of Simon Joyner. Soulsharks includes guest appearances by Herman Bunskoeke, Pascal Deweze, Simon Lenski, and Mauro Pawlowski. The disc was released on Brinkman Records in 1998.

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