Prog Indie by the Irwell?

Artist : Moscow Transport

Title : More

Label : Sunny Manchester Tapes (Cassette) Bandcamp (Digital)

Release Date : 26th June 2015

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Moscow Transport are a four piece from Salford & Manchester comprising Samuel Jones, Adam Mortimer, Ben Jones and Tom Miler. They were formed at Salford University in 2013.

Their debut five track EP offers an insight into the “indie” end of the current  scene in the Manchester conurbation,  melding, as it does, the brash and colourful sound that permeates the cityscape at the moment, with an effortless and professional delivery, which has strong production values.

Influences are listed by the band as Interpol, Dutch Uncles, Foals, Everything Everything and Hope of the States, and that comes through in the contemporary feel of the music.

Comparisons have been made elsewhere between the recent Dutch Uncles output and Steely Dan, and to some degree that comparison applies to  Moscow Transport. I’m thinking of the mellow vibe of the Dan’s Aja album specifically.

There are also nods towards 90s Madchester, with a loose “baggy” dance feel in the rhythms,  and the occasional  use of African guitar stylings are akin to Robert Buck’s work in the early iterations of the 10,000 Maniacs.  Structurally also the band reminds me to some extent the first two Yes albums with complex arrangements and interesting use of vocal stylings – so is this indie prog or prog indie? Such genre specifics are probably more trouble than they are worth,there is an overall feel to this band which sets them apart from the gaggle of indie purveyors/JD-NO clones bouncing around the North West at the moment.

All in all a most this is a most  enjoyable listen and lovers of the current Manchester Indie sound should be gravitating towards this release with anticipatory glee.

I took the opportunity to ask Sam Jones from the band a few questions in the context of this release:

CURRENT LISTENING? ESPECIALLY LOCAL BANDS

“In terms of local bands Girl Friend’s new EP has been on my Soundcloud playlist for a while which I’ve been really digging, we supported them on the first night of their recent tour, Acre Tarn’s new tune Dawn Faces has been played a lot. Adam has been listening a to Pale Waves a lot after we saw them supporting Acre Tarn at the Castle Hotel a few months back. Tom and Ben have been listening to Bête, who we played with at the Girl Friend launch show. Mind you I think we’ve all been listening to all of those bands.

In terms of what albums we’ve all been listening to recently:

Sam – O Shudder by Dutch Uncles, Cupid Deluxe by Blood Orange, I Feel For You by Chaka Khan and (still) Our Love by Caribou
Adam – 23 by Blonde Redhead and This Is All Yours by Alt-J
Tom – Born Under Saturn by Django Django and Undertow by Drenge
Ben – So Long, See You Tomorrow by Bombay Bicycle Club”

BEST GIG TO DATE?

“We played an awesome show at the The Castle Hotel last September which was also the first time we worked with Sunny Manchester! It’s such a tight space in there so it always feels mad onstage. Our EP launch is there too on the 26th of June so that should top it!

PREVIOUS OR CURRENT OTHER BANDS THE MEMBERS HAVE BEEN/ARE IN?

There are lots of previous bands that members have been in but unlikely ones anyone will have heard of but the other project some of the band members are in is PINES

https://soundcloud.com/pines_official

There will be other projects probably appearing from different members of the band in the near future as everyone has lots of music they want to write or be involved in.”

FORTHCOMING GIGS

19th of June – The Ferret, Preston – with support from Beat The Bandit and No Hot Ashes.

26th of June – Sunny Manchester Tapes Launch Party, Moscow Transport EP release gig – The Castle Hotel, MCR NQ – with support from Girl Friend and The Bear Around Your Neck

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