Sanso-Xtro?s ?The Sentimentalist? is a gorgeous record made up of modulated synth-lines, fractured bits of guitar and ukulele, and skittering, clattering beats. Many of the tracks, such as ?frangipani gardens? and ?misplaced feather? have a subdued, almost pastoral feel and at times bring to mind Growing?s ?The Sky?s Run Into The Sea? (albeit a ?Sky?s Run? stripped of all the doom metal elements), other tracks such as ?Blue Signal? and ?minus-ecki? evoke late nights and insomniac rambling ? the sort of nights where sleep isn?t an option and you end up watching some old movie with the sound off while you re-score the soundtrack?(but I digress...)
Sanso-Xtro mainwoman Melissa Agate comes from a traditional rock background, she?s done time as both a guitarist and as a drummer, but considers herself primarily a drummer. This comes through in the beats, which even though they have a detached, abstract quality are much more propulsive than your average laptop noodling, i.e. they have rhythm rather than being akin to theorems. ?The Sentimentalist? is an excellent debut and I?m extremely curious to see where Agate/Sanso-Xtro will go from here.
9/10 -- Neddal Ayad (16 June, 2005)