The Danish band Alcoholic Faith Mission, like many of their Scandinavian peers, seems so full of ineffable friendliness and gratitude that they almost force you to be an instant fan. Equal parts whimsical Scandinavian indiepop and college rock earnestness, their sound benefits from their time spent both in their home country and in Brooklyn. Brooklyn has been an integral part of AFM from the beginning; it (and alcohol) not only inspired their band name, but it also was where they recorded their second record, 421 Wythe Avenue, using only the materials that could be found in that old factory space. They are now two more records in, with their latest, Ask Me This, seeing release this week. In part due to that aforementioned friendliness and familiarity, this Friday night show at Glasslands had the vibe of coming over to hear your friends debut their new record just for you.
Band co-founder Thorben Seiero Jensen (who founded the band along with Sune Solund) and Kristine Permild share vocal duties, and they respectively represent the yin and yang of the band’s sound. Jensen sings in the full-throated style often associated with American rock singers, and he voices the band’s frequently-dark and even brutal lyrics with a wounded-bird affect that gives them credibility. Permild’s voice is sweeter, lighter and (of course) feminine, and is the pixie dust that gives the band a tenderer core. If you pay close attention to Jensen’s lyrics, there is a strain of darkness and depravity you might not expect from a band with such a pleasant onstage demeanor. But it’s hard to miss that there is some heavy shit going on behind that exterior; songs about sexual malfeasance, addiction and pain abound.
In the live setting, with the band cheerily inviting us to share a beer post-show, it was easier to focus on the simpler and more immediate pleasures of their sound itself. The rocker “Alaska,” with its klaxon-like lead melody, kicked things off and was an instant highlight, with Jensen and Permild bearing equal weight on the vocals. I was also partial to “Into Pieces” which is on Ask Me This but first saw release on the Running With Insanity EP earlier this year. “Sobriety Up and Left” and “Nut In Your Eye” were older songs that I also took a newfound liking to in the live setting.
I recorded this set with Schoeps MK22 open cardioid microphones and a nicely-balanced soundboard feed from Josh at Glasslands. Despite it being a bit of a chatty Friday night crowd, I am very pleased with the results. Enjoy!
Special thanks to Rob at Old Flame Records.
Stream “Sobriety Up and Left”
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Alcoholic Faith Mission
Brooklyn, NY USA
Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack
Schoeps MK22 (DFC, 7.5ft, DIN)>KCY>Z-PFA>Aerco MP-2 + Soundboard >> Edirol R-44 [Oade Concert Mod]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Audition (mixdown)>Izotope Ozone 5.5 (effects, EQ)>Audacity (additional EQ, tracking, set fades, amplify and balance, downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )
02 My Eyes To See
03 Running With Insanity
04 Into Pieces
06 Ask Me This
07 We Need Fear
09 Sobriety Up and Left
10 Nut In Your Eye