...there’s this toughness about their music; you could guess this could be the work of a bunch of arty chancers, but I don’t think it is. I genuinely think this is the way they want to express themselves.
I’ve written before about this band they just have something about them, despite their pretensions. They’ve been releasing a number of songs over the summer and I count four to date: all of them are worth your time, but be warned, if you’re not into high gloss, slightly theatrical rock you’d better gird your loins when giving this a listen.
Let me say now, it’s all slightly arch – the smell of greasepaint isn’t that far away and I sort of imagine them as holding dressing up parties at weekends, restricting themselves to looking like the Earl of Clarendon or members of the Cabal.
Rhein is a jangly lament, reverb-heavy and one of their softer moments: I suppose we can’t escape saying that there’s a certain resemblance to the Smiths in maybe the way that the song’s structured, or maybe it's that gate sound on the drums but the way it kicks off is more high street Goth than anything else. Aristide is a more menacing, swaggering track, which is possibly their strongest. The band do have this determined feel to their sound, this is a refined, controlled angry song, that never looks to release the pressure it is so successful at building up. There is something of the angry buffoonery that the Associates perfected too. Dysmirror is an unholy screech of thumping, wide sweeping chords and declamatory verse. I suspect they listen to classical music of the romantic variety a lot; their chord changes have this sweep that sort of points to too much Brahms or Brueckner.
But as I said, there’s this toughness about their music; you could guess this could be the work of a bunch of arty chancers, but I don’t think it is. I genuinely think this is the way they want to express themselves. Frances has this epic keyboard wash and choppy guitar part that could be lifted wholesale from certain high gloss 80’s records, but the lad’s voice is that bit cracked, that bit unhinged, missing notes, tailing off when you think he’s going to attempt to bridge the chorus and frankly (I hope he doesn’t take this bad), he sounds like Alison Moyet on 40 fags a day.
They are on the brink of wrestling some clear narrative amongst all the clutter and the clumping and the battering and they could be able, on this evidence, to create something distinct and valuable.