A Musical Stew That Shouldn’t Work

“A musical stew that shouldn’t work” is the way Brikkuni decribes its music on myspace, and when you hear it, you’ll definitely understand.

[oh p.s. yes we usually do Follow An Indie Band Wednesday highlights but because 5 days is barely enough to cover a country, we are going to put them off this week.  don’t worry, faithful friends, we will be back w/highlights next week.  we may even surprise you with highlights from this week…sometime later.]

I had been wondering about the Maltese language–what is Maltese, what does it sound like?  Well, I think this is it.  (No, seriously, I think this is it, but I’m American and only studied French and don’t really remember much, so maybe it isn’t, but I think it is, isn’t it?  What?)  It always feels a little cheesy listening to music from other countries when I can’t understand the language–like I’m trying too hard to be cool, or something.  I also place a lot of value in lyrics, as in, they better be genius, so to lose that comprehension feels like losing a major element of what makes this particular art (music. with lyrics. not the movie.) meaningful.  However, I’m currently listening to Brikkuni and really digging them, despite the lack of lyrics to help me understand.

There are different kinds of indie, and this particular kind is the kind that is so crazy that somehow it works.  The first song posted on their myspace, “Willie Vassallo,” is completely devoid of lyrics anyway, and sounds like what would happen if John Wayne fought Arcade Fire in one of those old westerns that my dad watches.  During their second song, we are all introduced to Mario’s vox, which are intensely full of character.  Many characters, actually.  He sings, he whispers, he growls, he ba-ba-ba’s, and he shouts…and it’s wonderful.  During “Kollox Suggettiv,” you wonder if Brikkuni has gleaned some stylistic elements from Bizet’s Carmen, especially with the clarinet motifs, the sudden tempo changes, and the “oompa oompa” throughout the entire song.

Yes, it is as bizarre as it sounds.  It also happens to be quite brilliant.  Dig it, Malta!