Azmyl Yunor & The Sigarettes 'Wilayah'

Updated: 25 Aug 2012

Time Out says

Rating: 3/5

Following stints with Furniture and Ben’s Bitches in the past, Azyml Yunor’s latest project sees him assuming the role of frontman for The Sigarettes. ‘Wilayah’, an eleven-song English and Malay album with the local indie folk singersongwriter’s pick-up band, offers a rock ’n’ roll facelift for several efforts from his earlier records (‘Freo’ and ‘Flesh’ can be found in 2001’s ‘The Photocopy Album’).

A large portion of tracks from ‘Wilayah’ sounds like a sonic trip down the ’90s pop rock catalogue that evokes memories of Indecisive’s ‘Empty Decorations’, with ‘Something I Wrote’ being the most memorable of the bunch. ‘Don’t harm Monica/my harmonica’ from the literal ‘Harmonica’, which includes a harmonica solo, may not be the subtlest use of wordplay, but the nostalgic tune about the passage of time reflects the album’s general melancholic mood.

In contrast, Latinspired ‘Ballad of Mat Som’ shines in its simplicity. With mere handclaps as well as intricate banjo and cello accompaniments, the jingly-jangly folk tune is also aided by gorgeous cameo harmonies by Azmyl’s former student Liyana Fizi. Azmyl’s raspy voice is at its best when paired with an acoustic guitar and heartfelt folk melodies, as seen in 2010’s ‘Warga’. However, ‘Wilayah’ adds a new dimension to a musician who has proven time and time again that less is indeed more. Wong Boon Ken