Nima Majd For My Kindred Avalanche

Nima Madj was born in Tehran, but was raised in Washington, DC. Not surprisingly, he has been exposed to a wealth of influences in his life and that is reflected in his first album, For My Kindred Avalanche. He takes elements from traditional Middle Eastern music and integrates it into more conventional rock music. But even beyond that, there are songs that use acoustic guitars to great effect, sounding more like a slightly askew version of folk music - it makes for an intoxicating mix that brings back memories of Nirvana's Unplugged session. Funnily enough, Majd's voice is oddly reminiscent of Kurt Cobain's, in an eerie kind of way. There's no real convention here, because of the combination of both traditional music and untraditional vocals. Most songs are mellow and laid back, but even on those quieter songs, Majd has a few tricks up his sleeve - it might be some distortion added to the vocals or it might be some slow, distant beats that don't quite interfere with the spooky atmosphere. The whole album has a dreamlike quality, with song after song floating in and out of your consciousness; it isn't about catchy songs that you'll sing along with, rather being about creating a mood. For My Kindred Avalanche is a strange album, which somehow manages to mix together a large number of styles and influences into something that will draw you in. And best of all, it sounds fresh and original, and that is something very unusual these days. (Lithium)