I envisage brighter days ahead, for example – adequate recording setups, but the venture is no less arresting for its ramshackle (yet faultless) garage arrangements. I do appreciate the liner note suggesting this recording was ‘recorded in a squat house scheduled for demolition’, and it fits the mood, but I’m sure the house would have wanted what’s best for these songs (not to mention that idealism is no excuse for laziness); still, live equals learn, and the songs shine through regardless.
A member of a sans-bass trio myself once upon a time, I can appreciate the dynamic at play here between piano, guitar and drums. Pounding low-end keys drive things along while the right hand complements with gorgeous ostinato melodies, amidst a swirl of dry syncopated drums and nitpicking guitar work, best evidenced on Letter Sealed In An Envelope, Locked In A Drawer, a goddamn beautiful blueprint for that shit I just said.
It’s about time we credit bands like this with a little more than a ‘post-rock’ pigeonhole; I think the crux of the operation is a heart-on-sleeve approach to cerebral arrangement and a penchant for finding the light in the darkest of sonic motifs. I think Mogwai would probably be extremely fucking willing to agree by now as well. Oh and I didn’t mean anything by that laziness remark earlier; just, don’t be afraid to do your tunes justice, fellas.
Best Track: Letter Sealed In An Envelope Locked In A Drawer
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: DIRTY THREE, MOGWAI, A MILLION BRIGHT AMBASSADORS OF MORNING