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Soccer Committee, "sC"

Mariska Baars records as Soccer Committee and sC is her first release on a label. At the wrong time the overall sound seems bleak, the voice uninspiring, the guitar playing drab; but at the right time the pace and subtlety of her austere style is as captivating as Low.



Baars hails from the Netherlands, where soccer (Association Football) remains defined by the great 1974 and 1978 Dutch national soccer teams, often referred to as the best to never win the World Cup. Their philosophy of Total Football, remains a blueprint for high-level individual technique in all positions allowing for greater tactical flexibility and creative expression throughout the team. Soccer Committee's confidence in her technique, attention to detail, and sleek economy is clear; she uses one note where others would place ten. A single pluck is often left to resound into the air, simultaneously demanding attention, and creating space for her words to stand out.

In Chinese legend, it is thought that if a carp can leap a particular waterfall it will become a dragon. However, opening track "Carps" seems more a consideration of the double-meaning of the word, as in "carping." The fish are notorious bottom-feeders, considered pests, muddying water and disturbing vegetation; like people who indulge in constant petty quibbling. Other than that there seems no reason why: "When carps swim, it's time to leave." Either way, far too few songs mention fish, so it's good to have another. "Here I Go Again" contains a few more notes and thus seem a few iotas faster than much of sC, as does "Flock" where her voice fades to a frustratingly inaudible whisper. The playful "Carriage" might have been lifted from Just Another Diamond Day. Agonizing slowness returns on "True," which is brief and excellent. She does not rule the world, but Soccer Committee's adherence to her philosophy is admirable.