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A Fool's Attempt (album - 2007)



Yes, that’s the right word. Storybox songs are cinematic; like road movies or landscapes. Panoramic yet achingly close at the same time. Textured but not cluttered, leaving plenty of room for the imagination.
“Thank you for the lovely ride / It always will be on my mind.”

The title of the closing instrumental track on Storybox’s debut is Vernon.
Vernon? God Little?
Yes, that Vernon: the now legendary debut novel by author DBC Pierre about a 16 year old Texan school kid who receives the guilty verdict for the murder of 16 of his classmates.
Storybox also composed and performed the music for the critically acclaimed Huis aan de Amstel Theater Group’s stage production of this story.

This is pretty cool in itself but it says something else about the band as well. Storybox are more than just the band who made that CD. They are a project. A music project sure, but in a band with so much talent in so many different areas (singer Helge is also an actor in the film about Herman Brood, playing one of the band members), they might just as easily metamorphose into a film. Anything is possible, anything except inactivity.

That trumpet sound in that Vernon tune is slightly reminiscent of Calexico isn’t it? Probably: it’s the same dude playing it. Storybox approached him and he was dead keen to jump on board. When he couldn’t make it to the studio Storybox just took the studio to him. The only thing that matters with Storybox is the end result.

And the result is certainly there. Eleven songs, eleven stories. Text with a twist. Vocalist Slikker has a feel for irony and the 4 people who make up Storybox (Helge Slikker, Niels de Rooij, Oscar Buma and Frank Gorter) don’t believe in rushing things. In a world where rapid success is supposed to count for a lot Storybox have decided to tackle things differently. They have worked on the album slowly over the past year under the production guidance of Jelle Kuiper: a project ripening over time, placing care above haste. Call it ‘A Fool’s Attempt’ or a sweeping epic.

The songs reached maturity at home, in the rehearsal room and during gigs. Did they remain fragile and small or did the emotional mother-load grow in stature? Sometimes inward looking, then again off to the far south when the banjo and slide fall in.
“Things have changed / The usual has faded into something strange.”