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Aikea-Guinea - EP

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Album Review

The immediate follow-up to Treasure didn't match the effortless heights of that album, but still came darn close throughout, providing another brief, affecting precis of the trio at its best. The title track became another well-deserved Twins standard, a deceptively simple bass/guitar/drum combination driving away at its core, while Fraser sings beautifully over it all, matched by a swirl of Guthrie's production touches (piano, mock choir, and so forth). "Kookaburra" follows squarely in the path of faster Cocteaus tracks as "Because of Whirl-Jack," though here Fraser's vocals are more sweet and less dramatically piercing. Guthrie's guitar takes center stage here, starting the track with echoing swirls leading into the main riff. "Quisquose" puts piano up front as main accompaniment for one of Fraser's more adventurous vocals, mixing a high main lyric with a more free form performance set against it, calling to mind the slightly similar contrast in vocal takes on "Lorelei." The instrumental "Rococo" ends the EP with style, a quiet bass/percussion opening leading into one of Guthrie's trademark fusions of feedback, volume, and heavily-produced beauty. Raymonde's bass stands out strongly throughout as well, a fine combination.

Biography

Formed: 1979 in Grangemouth, Scotland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

A group whose distinctly ethereal and gossamer sound virtually defined the enigmatic image of the record label 4AD, Cocteau Twins were founded in Grangemouth, Scotland, in 1979. Taking their name from an obscure song from fellow Scots Simple Minds, the Cocteaus were originally formed by guitarist Robin Guthrie and bassist Will Heggie and later rounded out by Guthrie's girlfriend Elizabeth Fraser, an utterly unique performer...
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