steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Van Der Sar

"Your Friends Are Knives" CDR


Genres: lo-fi, indie pop

November 2006

Hometaped lo-fi indie pop, mostly guitar, voice, drums and piano, are the name of the game here, and Van Der Sar brings it with the attention and care that such a project warrants. Unfortunately Your Friends Are Knives suffers a bit from blandness, but as far as bedroom pop goes, there is enough decent stuff here to garner a look.

Aside from solemn "Gris et Nuageux" and pensive "Northern Ghost," these are predominantly guitar-based pop/rock songs - melody seems to come pretty well to Van Der Sar, and his voice is solid albeit unworthy of note. As can be expected, the compositions are a bit unpolished - for example, "Actress" is a tad stiff and unfilled. Still, a chorus like that of "Boiling Lakes" or the uniqueness of "I am the only other person in this room" shows what this songwriter is capable of. As a lo-fi nugget, this is a treat - but some more practice writing music and a better studio could work wonders for Van Der Sar. Promising.



Fun Fact: This disc (and others by Van Der Sar) are three bucks a crack through the mail... sweet deal for some obscure lo-fi action.

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 8 tracks, 34:31, distributed by the artist, released 2005]