Review by Rob Broom for MPM
Blistering solo debut from Swiss rocker consisting of simple, straight talking, hard rocking! A serious contender for my album of the year.
Yes, it is that simple, this is a storming debut from Seraina Telli. Originally the vocalist with Burning Witches, she now fronts the three piece Dead Venus, but this is her first solo offering.
Kicking off with ‘Modern Warrior’, Telli sets out her agenda immediately, straight ahead, in your face, rock! The song has a great beat and lyric. Should be a good live opener to get everybody in the mood.
As some comparisons might be needed for the wider listening public who, like me, are not familiar with Seraina Telli, to my ears, the vocals across the album sound like Halestorm meeting Heart with a dose of Janis Joplin and Patti Smith thrown in for good measure. Seraina has a great voice and knows how to use it!
Second song ‘I’m Not Sorry’ is the current single and keeps the pace up. Clean and crisp, the lyrics let us know that Telli is making no apology for who she is.
‘Take Care’ slows the pace down a notch, but when she’s telling you to ‘get your fu@king sh!t together’ you better take notice! This is a great song which should resonate with quite a number of people.
‘I Dare To’ swings along with some ‘punky/ Foo Fighters’ rhythms. Perfect for the live environment and should get the crowd jumping along without too much trouble.
There is plenty to like in this album and a track by track guide will spoil the discovery. There is plenty of light and shade, its not all frantic rock! Guitars and drums weld powerfully throughout with the vocals, in particular on ‘G.E.B’. ‘Dreamer’ picks up with a punky riff and some Heart like vocals while ‘Not One of Your Kind’ is a slick example of rock pop that canters along with Telli showing what she can do vocally.
Tenth track on the album is ‘Fever’ and yes, it is yet another cover of the classic song. Covered by Elvis Presley, Danzig, and The Cramps (among countless others) Seraina Telli has taken a different route with the song. Rather than a slow brooding sensual tempo, she’s picked the song up by the scruff of the neck and given it a good shake.
It fits in with the rest of the album, but if like me, you know the song really well (just listen to the Cramps version) then it takes a couple of plays to get your head round it, but its certainly well executed and a fine example of someone not just doing a note by note cover copy and I can think of several bands who should take note.
Saying that, perhaps hearing her perform a more traditional version would be fantastic because she can deliver that vocal style as penultimate song ‘Remember Me’ shows. This one reminds me of Alanis Morissette (because you needed more comparisons, right?), it is a beautiful slower song, but with what by now we can consider the Seraina Telli vocal bite and kick. Wonderful.
Closing track ‘Medusa’ finishes the album off with a flourish. Fast paced, it attacks you with drums and guitars rattling along and the closing laugh is mischievous and wicked.
As I mentioned at the start, this is an incredibly powerful debut and a strong contender for my album of the year.
Whilst it is not Van Halen I, Appetite For Destruction or Damned, Damned, Damned (among others), the opening impact of Simple Talk had my jaw dropping with that same sense of excitement that I recall when I first heard those albums.
So, within the confines of the ‘singer songwriter’ format this is a stunning album and well worth listening to. The whole album rocks along, with some nice changes in pace to keep it interesting. Go on, spoil yourself and buy it today.
Tracklisting for Seraina Telli’s Simple Talk
- Modern Warrior
- I’m Not Sorry
- Take Care
- I Dare To
- Soldier Of Fortune
- Not One Of Your Kind
- Remember You
Seraina Telli – vocals, guitar
Alice Lane – bass
Rico H. – drums
with Burning Witches:
Burning Witches (2017)
with Dead Venus:
Bird of Paradise (2019)
Flowers & Pain (2022)