san francisco chronicle"You have two choices tonight: Watch the new street-tough Ricky Martin work his so-last-year faux hawk and shake his clearly straight bon-bon over at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, or drown your sorrows in a set of Bermuda Triangle Service's moonshine-poached torch songs down at the Hemlock Tavern." (1/29/06 'pop beat' by bill picture)
san francisco bay guardian"Led by the smoky vocal style of Cynthia 'Wig' Wigginton, Bermuda Triangle Service channels Mazzy Star on one of their sunnier days. As a violinist, Wigginton toured with Alejandro Escovedo and the Mekons for several years and also worked with Richard Buckner. Robert Malta, on bass, and Adam McCauley, on drums, have helped Wigginton create dreamy, country-bluesy tunes on their two self-released records to date, High Swan Dive and Turtle Xing. Musical saw, melodica, violin, and wavery guitar tones accompany." (1/29/06 pick of the week by eliana fiore)
monterey county weekly"Formed as a vehicle for the music of Cynthia Wigginton, a former touring violinist for Alejandro Escovedo and the Mekons, Bermuda Triangle Service is an underappreciated San Francisco trio whose debut album, High Swan Dive, should be hopping off the shelves of indie record stores. The opening song, 'Kukui Lei', is a strange but beautiful cross between Hawaiian music and the dreamy pop of Mazzy Star. The rest of the CD features eclectic instrumentation--musical saw, melodica and violin--combined with Wigginton's languid vocals and wavery guitar sound that seems to melt in your mind. If the CD is any indication, Bermuda Triangle Service is definitely worth a drive down the coast.
('hot pick' by stuart thornton)
big takeover #56"The first notes hit straight out of the Parker & Lily songbook, but then flourish from a more exotic location, and the melodica and saw bring middle eastern movements into the mix. Cynthia Wigginton's vocals are seductive and smooth against the steady sparseness of the drums, as the roll of the bass makes you sway along. Then it picks up into a strange, almost Velvet Underground guitar riff; the whole band chants the chorus behind the still-sexy lead vocals. It's a little bluesy, a little loungey, and a little tropical at times, too. If this is what the house band in the Bermuda Triangle sounds like-- it's probably not such a bad place to lose yourself!
(review of high swan dive by marcel feldmar)
"At times Bermuda Triangle Service's vocalist Cynthia Wigginton sounds a lot like Carolyn Mark, Kelly Hogan, Virginia Dare and Paula Frazer. Fans of those lovely ladies just might take a shine to this new combo. They make slow
candlelit country with lots of graceful fiddle playin'. Very pretty. For their debut, they've enlisted the kind assistance of Joshua Housh (Catalpa Boys and Our Lady Of The Highway).
An engaging debut!"
"Bermuda Triangle Service kicked off the show with a nice, pleasant set of countrified tunes. This three-piece is led by Cynthia Wigginton, who not only possesses a great voice but an awesome last name. I couldn't say what they sound like exactly, but fans of Neko Case, Carolyn Mark, The Court & Spark and that ilk would probably really dig their recordings, at least when they get released. An EP is to be issued pretty soon if I'm not mistaken, and I won't be in the least bit surprised if folks start paying a lot more attention to this band. For lack of song titles, let me just say that the next-to-last-song was great, with this drawn out reggae-dub influence that was just what I wanted to hear (I've often thought that the twangy-ness of country would mesh well with reggae if done correctly, and this just furthered my point). When I mentioned to Cynthia after the show how much I liked that song, and especially the ending, she concurred-- the lack of guitar on the dub-ish ending gives her time to drink beer. You've just gotta love an answer like that."
sacramento news & review"More subdued than the Breeders but not so stoned as Mazzy Star, Bermuda Triangle Service offers its debut CD, High Swan Dive. 'Kukui Lei' gets it started with lush, reverb-soaked guitar, wonderful violin and Cynthia Wigginton's mellow vocals. High Swan Dive plays with unique instruments like a musical saw, a melodica and even a screwdriver. 'Pokerhuntus Was Her Name', a surprisingly effective cover of a song by Thee Headcoats' Billy Childish, is a special treat. Hearing anything from Childish played as if it actually had been rehearsed is odd, but Bermuda Triangle Service does an excellent job of making the song its own. The originals feature strong lyrics, great musicianship and a good grasp of the 'less is more' approach to arrangements. This is the CD for a lazy midnight drive to nowhere in particular."
(review of high swan dive by keith lowell jensen)
san francisco examiner"Local foursome Bermuda Triangle Service make haunting, country-kissed laments to take with you to the bar, the bedroom and the grave. The intoxicating languor of the band's debut full-length, High Swan Dive, recalls the sublime air and poetic charm of Neko Case and Mazzy Star, balancing precariously on an emotional tightrope between sultry and weepy."
(review by bill picture)
shredding paperIt's not often that group can come right out of the gate sounding this good, this professional, this polished, all of their own merit - but that is exactly what we have with Bermuda Triangle Service. This three piece, led by Cynthia Wigginton - who has played with such greats as Richard Buckner, Alejandro Escavedo, and the Mekons - have given San Francisco a fresh shot of alt-country that doesn't sound too much like anything else but is instantly recognizable at the same time. According to the band's press sheet, Wigginton started writing these songs while "sequestered on a tropical island", which might explain the strains of Hawaiian or Caribbean music that make the overall sound of this record particularly unique. Fans of Carolyn Mark, Neko Case, Tift Merritt and that lot would probably enjoy this, even if it doesn't sound too much like it per se. Definitely worth checking out if you like strong songwriting with a little twang and maybe a little hula thrown in.
(review of high swan dive by jake)
"Just call her Wig. For years now, Cynthia Wigginton has been making music for many great artists, from Richard Buckner to the Mekons. Now, it is only fair and proper that she unveil her considerable talent, not only as a player, but also as a songwriter, in her very own musical vehicle, the Bermuda Triangle Service. High Swan Dive, their first full length, is a well-thought out and consistent work of art, never losing sight of balance and its own slow moving brand of space-country ambience.
Lodged somewhere between the early Mazzy Star records and the incredible sounds of Paula Frazer and Tarnation, Wig and the Bermuda Triangle Service deliver song after song of fuzzed out slide guitars, thick bass, and morphine-drip drum beats. Wig has recruited a few capable partners-in-crime, in the persons of Adam McCauley and Robert Malta. Then with the assistance of famed producer/engineer Karl Derfler (who worked with the likes of Roky Erikson, The Who, and The Talking Heads). Add to that the ubiquitous melodica, some judicious harmonica and the ever-mysterious screwdriver, and you have a recipe for some pretty spooky and affecting tunes.
These strange tunes work best when Wig's voice enters the mix. It is a sort of reserved and just a little more sung than spoken, but every song weaves a weird and wonderful story of textures and colors, from June bugs to Caine, swan dives to Indian princesses (even though that song is a delightful take on a Billy Childish tune). The tracks sometimes build into small smoldering things that eventually explode (like the tom-tom and slide guitar driven "Caine"), and other times they are content to languish in their molasses-slow assuredness. Either way, almost every track has something to offer a fan of music, from Calexico to the Willard Grant Conspiracy, to Lambchop.
Self released by the band itself, this is a true example of an independent artist. Go out and support good music and buy a copy of this CD. One listen and you can tell it was a labor of love... a strange, twisted kind of love, but love nonetheless."
". . . then there was that crash dream, the one where the train carrying Mazzy Star jumped the tracks and merged with the covered wagon filled with The Breeders and Patsy Cline and then Bermuda Triangle Service tripped along and took away parts of the wreckage on their pirate ship that sailed the Old West sands all the way to Hawaii."
mission arts monthly
"Opening with the track, 'Kukui Lei', it's evident the songs of Bermuda Triangle Service may have origins in Hawaii where leader and multi-instrumentalist Cynthia Wigginton resided for a spell and was known to frequent Cocktail Hour appearances by the late, great exotic-cat, Arthur Lyman. Wigginton, who has contributed her violin playing to groups like Rico Bell, Richard Buckner and the Bedlam Rovers, now creates her own personal tunes with a breathy and darn sexy vocal delivery, and quiet, relaxed and languorous build-ups that take the listener on journeys that float along in simple rhythmic ease.
It's easy to drift off and get lost on the sonic seas with Bermuda Triangle Service."
"This San Francisco-based three-piece blends indie-pop rock with a tinge of alt-country and earthy blues, all gently kissed by a salty Caribbean breeze. Led by vocalist, guitarist and violinist Cynthia Wigginton, Bermuda Triangle Service delivers a laid-back, inviting and often intoxicating first offering.
Helmed by producer Karl Derfler, the overall production and arrangements are stripped-down, organic and extremely relaxed. Wigginton's sultry vocals provide the bedrock for many of these self-penned numbers, while her bluesy slide guitar ('Motel Five'), haunting violin ('Kukui Lei'), spirited electric guitar (on a cover of Billy Childish's 'Pokerhuntus Was Her Name') and tropical slide that drips over bassist Robert Malta and drummer Adam McCauley's unobtrusive rhythms on 'Six Years' prove to be just the right understated mix."