Boomkat Product Review:
Much has changed with Arne Van Petegem's approach and production since the release of his last two albums "The Point Misser" and "A Short Album About Murder" for the label, the latter of which came out a good couple of years ago now. Gone are the processed vocals and studies in considered abrasiveness, and in come flowing blissful layers of electronics, guitars and the untouched, crisp and remarkably moving vocal performance that Arne has been threatening to unleash since his days recording under the moniker of the wonderful Tin Foil Star. These last twelve months have seen the electronic and indie traditions come together in so many ways and with a frequency that just hasn't been present before. Styrofoam's achievement, though, lies with the depth and honesty of production, you never get the feeling that there's an over-indulgence or conceptual brain at play here, the simplicity of the songs, the TUNES, the loveliness of the interplay between the guitars and the crunchy, fractured electronic accompaniments, the layering of his fragile voice all making for a touching and deeply engaging evolution of sound that displays itself at its most touching on the opening title track."Fade Out Your Eyes" follows and sounds like it could have lived quite happily on Hood's immense "Cold House" album with its fractured words and drone-like stretches of electro-accoustic shimmering and moving fragmentations. The opening salvo of 'A Heart Without a Mind" and "Fade Out Your Eyes" are both original Petegem compositions, while tracks 3 and 4 offer up cover versions of songs by Codeine and The Mountain Goats - giving you an idea of some of the inspiration at play here. Codeine's "Hard To Find" is treated with the sensitivity it deserves, shimmering keys and a solitary acoustic guitar accompanying Arne's exposed voice and the chugging of a dusty, broken percussive engine, while the Mountain Goats "Snow Crush Killing Song" is more folk-based and uplifting, a euphoric, beatless ending to a simply sublime EP, immerse yourself without delay.