(12 December 2002) A seven-track self-titled promotional CD from Project Winterhaven was sent to us by Kevin Stanton from Associated Music International in London a couple of weeks back. The Australian band is Julia Parker (guitar/vocals), (brother) Joe Parker (bass) and Chubby Winterhaven (drums). Julia has a great set of pipes; the girl can really belt out the tunes. Check out photos at the band's website by clicking on the album cover.
They are presently gigging around London and shopping for the right record deal. Impressed with this first recording, our editors don't think their search should last too long. Not the most common construction for a band--Project Winterhaven are a threepiece with frontperson being the singer/guitar player. Guests on the recording include DJD7 (decks), Sean Ikin (vocals on "Catch The Glitter"), Jimi Nintendo (sax) and Phil Emmanuel (nylon string guitar).
The recording opens with a short, electronica-style, introduction running just under a minute. The full electronic splendour of the band comes to life just before "Arabian#" begins. They can rock--a bit metal-edged--but they have a sensitive side that is brought out by melodic guitar and Julia's edgy layered vocals. The variety of sound is certain to draw the listener into their lair especially with the the very tight (think King Crimson) guitar-playing.
Alternative sounds within "Natural Ending" show another side of the band. Yes, they are still edgy but they can shed the metal-edges as quickly as they can turn them on and reveal just the evocative vocal element of their sound. The track "94" is a dynamic track varying between gentle and rougher with a lovely underlying melody that turns raunchier as the layers of Julia's sensually sung vocals build to the chorus.
"Catch The Glitter" is the gentlest track on the album. Backed with acoustic guitar and bluesy sax, Julia's lovely vocal melody shows the softer--ballad-style--side of the band who can play as cohesively in this style as with the harder and rockier bits of the recording.
Project Winterhaven are not an entirely typical rock band but they can certainly bring the house down with their energy. Perhaps most illustrated in the powerful instrumental sections of "Bitza," heavy guitar and various vocal effects when combined with the sweet vocal treatment in the chorus reveals the edgier and certainly more diverse side of their sound. The concluding track, "Pets," is substantially raunchier with powerful electric guitar underscoring Julia's most soaring and dramatically delivered lead vocal.
Interested visitors will want to point their browsers to Project Winterhaven's website. There, in addition to the band's biography and photos, you can also sample the recorded material and write away to them for a CD. Worth a journey, the band's material is a must listen!