Hold your end of year album lists – there needs to be space for one more…
I’ve been listening to this gem of an album a lot over the last few weeks following the review in Shindig! Magazine.
The Bandcamp blurb also had my ears pricking up:
“what you hear within its seven tracks is the ‘60s British blues explosion colliding with a mid ‘70s Bronx block party; Haight Ashbury acid rock mashed up with Manchester’s summer of love circa ’88; or a prime slice of UK freakbeat broadcast from New York’s jazz underground, emerging kicking and screaming above London city tower blocks.”
The sound is otherworldly- jazzy, trio-hop drums, with maggot- brain fried guitar in places. The blend of influences creates a unique sound and this doesn’t feel like an album looking back. There are hints of the rhythmic intensity of The Oh Sees in there, along with Clinic. I also hear echoes of early 90s psych kings Sundial (of whom I shall write again soon).
Following the sad death of their drummer, Virgil Howe, the band decided to work with the Heliocentrics’ Malcolm Catto. In a great tribute to their friend the drums are absolutely to the fore on this album. Particularly on the standout instrumental, ‘T.R.A.B.S’ – like a version of Albatross, funked and psyched to hell.
I love the build up of rhythm and the guitar motif on ‘You’re only you’. ‘Repeater #2’ has a spooky Black Keys feel, with mournful double tracked vocals overlaying the sound.
After After is the other jewel on the album – 8 minutes plus of pulsing trip hop drums and echoing squalls of psych guitar. With a hint of a motorik rhythm in there with a continuous metronome through the track. Bliss.
The album reprises, finishing with Repeater #1 the guitar taking the track towards an intense finish.