exploring deadened darkness

Damage (Necessary)

By Kory Wilcoxson

Melancholy is the first word that comes to mind after a listen to Siberia's Damage.

The duo mine their emotions and come up with feelings of apathy and indifference, delivered in a low-key style. Singer Randi Farmer is reminiscent of Suzanne Vega circa Days of Open Hand, conveying little feeling with her monotone voice. Guitarist and sometimes vocalist John West travels in the other direction, evoking a Beatlesque sound in his sensitive voice. His one vocal track, "Hey Mr. Jones," is one of the album's high points.

Just because Siberia is lacking emotion does not mean they lack talent. These two do have a knack for writing songs, which comes through on "She Doesn't Live Here Any more" and"House on My Street."

In a decision I would like to hear explained, the only track included On Damage that wasn't written by Siberia is a cover of the bubblegum classic "Sugar, Sugar." It is a fine exemplar of Siberia' style: They kill whatever teeny-bop happiness ever existed in the song with a slow, brooding delivery that casts the tune in a much darker light.

Welcome to Siberia.