It exudes that intelligent, spiky, shocking otherness that I've not heard in a band's debut since the first Pixies, Sugarcubes or Mary Chain singles.
"Red Weather" skulks across town like a stray dog; all lonely, misunderstood menace. The guitar chimes and the bass rumbles along, keeping you on tenterhooks, because you know something's going to happen. And then it does. Liela Moss swans into the record, sounding like she's been on the Baileys, and it's electrifying. The whole thing just clicks into gear. I was thinking hard about how to describe just how electrifying; (whilst doing my scummy factory job), and you're going to have to forgive me now. Firstly, 'cos I've nicked this from Anthony Burgess. And secondly, 'cos he's describing Beethoven. But fuck that, because "Red Weather" DOES sound like this..
"Oh it was gorgeous, and gorgeosity made flesh. The trombones crunched red-gold under my bed, and behind my Gulliver the trumpets three-wise silver flamed, and there by the door the timps rolling through my guts and out again like candy thunder. Oh it was wonder of wonders. And then a bird of rarest spun heavenmetal, or like silvery wine flowing in a spaceship, gravity all nonsense now, came the violin solo above the other strings, and those strings were like a cage of silk............" Bloody hell, eh? Rarest spun heavenmetal, eh? This is a classic e.p. It exudes that intelligent, spiky, shocking otherness that I've not heard in a band's debut since the first Pixies, Sugarcubes or Mary Chain singles.
"Drinking You In" (how reminiscent of "Isn't Anything" is that?), is again sparse in its arrangements, topped by that voice, half cajoling, half shitting on you at the same time. All of a sudden, as if in angry response, to Moss's teasing, the guitar burns up, and stalks off, only to return in angry rebuke at the end. "X" is a guitar roll versus the loudest and most menacing sand-papering ever recorded.
"Salt The Strings" is a lullaby that no child'd want to hear, I'd think. Elvis's, Jerry Lee's and Johnny Cash's Sun recordings come to mind (and I don't know why). Penitential, pleading vocals tell a story from the bar stool. It's as if Catherine the Great is chatting you up; (you can't refuse, or it's the dungeons, peasant). All of this is placed in a sparse sonic guitar-led cage. "Howling Self" is a clangy clattery burn up of a song. Liela Moss comes on all shamanic, singing at her followers from a top floor back street window. Yet again, it gives the feeling of a very personal account of an action that she now regrets. "Nine & Scramble" is a slow reflective hand clap chain gang lament that gets into Velvets territory at times (only I have to say, sans the prissy Nyoo Yoik hang ups).
This is a classic e.p.. What more can I do to persuade you all?
Words: Richard Foster