I think this lot hail from Newcastle, a Roman city with a defined and often celebrated Northern work ethic.
What was it that Robert Bruce was supposed to have muttered when stuck in that cave?
You know there are a lot of things to be said for repetition in music, a lot; I remember reading an interview with Michael Rother somewhere where he said that the whole point of the repetition with Neu! was to look to react – in whatever way - to the changes possible in a supposedly restrictive template. Not to repeat or embellish the repetition. I suppose there is an attempt to emulate that idea here, because this is a record that relentlessly pushes the same button; though many variations in the tracks are often welded to the same tight rhythmic circle.
It does feel very rigid at times: I think this lot hail from Newcastle, a Roman city with a defined and often celebrated Northern work ethic. And with this in mind you do get this feeling of things being “sorted”, being laid down with an over-zealous eye for perfection. The tracks are also a bit abrupt, maybe just too short for this kind of sound, just as everything starts to melt into a sonic stew we can appreciate, the music stops, which is a shame. Whether there are any gateways to the unconscious or similar revelatory triggers – both for listener and player - in a track like Hocus Pocus or Give Over is uncertain; rather these tracks batter you and you have to brave the opener in the manner of standing outside to be sick on a choppy ferry’s deck.
I don’t want to give the impression that it’s not an enjoyable record, because despite the fact there isn’t initially much space in the experience for the listener, there are some great moments. In fact the record finds its feet after the opening two tracks and starts to reveal its strengths in a more appealing manner: Super Good is a bouncing and refreshing noise, whereas Big Wow and A Little Less, are soft and charming spirals with a nice taste of guitar after burn and counter harmony. The title track is possibly tops, there’s a clear melody that isn’t fixed to tightly to the rhythm and the guitar lines combine to create a heady, charming sound with potential to open up some space for the listener.
So, there you go, an enjoyable enough listen, for sure, but brace yourselves for the opening salvo.