Gelbison, named after a mountain in Italy (or so I'm led to believe) were a Sydney-based band who released two well-received albums before calling it a day. In reality, the name was only ever a vehicle for songwriting brothers Edo and Nadav Kahn, who now front a band called, appropriately, Kahn Brothers.
Mine and YourZ (truly) came to Gelbison in a roundabout fashion, having first heard of the brothers through their involvement in a band we've yet to review here, Nations By The River. This band also features Luke Steele of The Sleepy Jackson (and yesterday's Empire Of The Sun) and Sarah Blasko, who we've reviewed here and here. The album was produced by Ian Ball, of Gomez, one of our very favourite bands and who we've also reviewed here. So, really, there wasn't much doubt we were going to love this album. But this doesn't account for the fact it has languished in our collection, forgotten for so long.
See The World is an absolute listening pleasure and not only includes appearances by the aforementioned Australian indie luminaries, but also from Ben Lee and Ohad Rein (Old Man River) among others. There are definite overtones of Ball's day band, but this similarity is more due to the strength of the song writing and the smart production. Instead of singling out any particular songs, I'm just gonna simply say listen to this record. It is truly a Forgotten Gem.
VERDICT: TURN IT UP
Oh, I have to agree... and then I don't. You see, while the songwriting is terrific - love the jangly guitar-pop - and the arrangement and production only serve to highlight how truly beautiful the songs are, that can't be said for the singing. Not on all the songs, I hasten to add, but on most of them. That lead vocal has the whiny slacker/stoner indie-band inflection I just can't stand. And it's not that Edo Kahn can't sing, I can hear him actually singing in parts, it's that he chooses to barely push the notes out in a monotone during the verses and then suddenly remembers how to sing in the choruses.
I loved this album. And I hated listening to it. I'm confused.
VERDICT: TURN IT DOWN
For more information: http://www.myspace.com/gelbison