When I lived in the peoples republic of Crumpsall (a northern suburb of Manchester) there was never music like this about.
Thomas Long comes from Crumpsall and has been writing, jamming and gigging in the city since he was fifteen.
Easter is the outlet for his songs, a band that has existed in some form since 2009.
After initial success and plaudits for the bands first EP it was tough to find a settled band and gain momentum but after two years of drifting Easter have an excellent line up of musicians in place – Lonelady drummer Andrew Cheetham, experimental musician Danny Saul on guitar, and bass player Gavin Clarke.
On 11th June 2012 their debut album Innocence Man will be released on White Box Recordings. The album was recorded live in a single night in a Northern Quarter loft studio – it should have been two but the first session was completely erased and with no spare cash or time left, this served only to enhance the raw, intense vibe of a perfectly lo-fi recording situation.
This is a perfect album.
It’s laminal wash of guitar distress merged with laconic heartfelt songs and busy, almost martial, drumming is one of the best things I have heard in a long time.
When you hear local musicians praising a band then you know that you are on to something good – and they do with this band and are fulsome in that praise.
The obvious comparison is with Sonic Youth with the cascading interplay between the two guitars but Easter manage to transcend the SY schema and have developed an impressive array of licks and riffs which when coupled with Long’s rich voice, which is as emotionally strong as Nick Drake at his best, deliver something special indeed.
Noticeably the band manage to effortlessly mix strong melody with intense guitar distress in a massive wall of sound.
Innocence Man also features, on backing vocals & cello – Julie Campbell, on the americana infused centre-piece Begin Again, up there with Kurt Wagner at there best, and as memorable a piece of music as i’ve heard in a long while.
The opener Somethin’ American sets the bar high for an exceptional album…..however the bar keeps getting raised as the album progresses… the single Damp Patch is stunning, and the howling guitar coda of Never Me is breathtaking. The mammoth closer Holy Island melds folk idioms with a combination of mammoth post-rock cinematics and airy guitar picking.
A very strong candidate for album of the year as far as I am concerned.
The album launch is at Kraak which is a performance and exhibition space in the Northern Quarter. It’s down a cobbled street, just behind Fit To Dance off Stevenson Square. It’s on Friday June 22nd