Aural Delights 9th March

Mostly new things on this weeks show with a couple of classics for good measure

  1. Orange Juice – Felicity – Coals to Newcastle – from the excellently constructed compilation an equally excellently constructed piece of pop magic.
  2. The Crookes – Godless Girl – Single – from the new album “Chasing After Ghosts” this Sheffield band play FAC 251 on 26th March (or maybe 25th it’s a bit confusing on their My Space page)
  3. Little Volcanoes – Drum Roll at the Cash Machine – Pre-release – Manc wunderkinds doing what they do best……
  4. Periscope – Barefoot – Charity Download – the ever lovely and talented Mr Swinney regales our ears with more musical magic – hope over here and download it and then donate something – it’s for a good cause.
  5. Electric Furnace – Goodnight Bloodsuckers –Sound and Fury EP – a bit of metal from the Rhondda to liven up your ossicles…..
  6. Fidel and the Castros – Take It Away – Demo – great name and a great demo sent in by this band …. I predict great things
  7. Traffic – 40,000 Headmen –  Welcome to the Canteen – classic track from one of Traffics best albums.
  8. Letters to Fiesta – Blue Giants – Demo – interesting name and an excellent sound from another Manc band.
  9. Danny Short – Bottles of Red Wine– Love Has Gone – Another great track from Dan’s new album which is out in April…be sure to check out the free download of his Reputation EP here.
  10. Drama – Iso – Single – The single being released on March 14th is now to appear on Classic Rock Magazine’s May Edition covermount CD which is released in April.
  11. The Winchester Club – Negative Liberty – Negative Liberty – new album out 23rd March, touring soon but not playing north of London unfortunately.
  12. Twilight Hotel – The Master – When the Wolves Go Blind – rather marvellous new album from the musical partnership of Brandy Zdan & Dave Quanbury. I like them because I can’t pigeon hole them!
  13. The Counterpoints – Catalyst – Promo – from Berkshire, and described as being echoes of the entire history of British popular music, you can find out what all the fuss is about by visiting their websites http://www.thecounterpoints.com and http://www.myspace.com/counterpoints
  14. Grails – Future Primitive – Deep  Politics – I whitter on endlessly about how good this is elsewhere on this blog. Another contender for album of the year.

You can listen to the show here……

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growth points…..

Artist : The Winchester Club

Album : Negative Liberty

Lable : Exile on Mainstream

Released : 28th March 2011

How much post-rock does there need to be in the world?

There is certainly a lot of it out there and we ought to be careful when dipping into this most particular of sub-genres.

Some reviewers get lazy, I suppose it’s necessary when faced with a pile of stuff to review, and cite/compare with Mogwai, Sonic Youth, Godspeed or Explosions in the Sky or whatever.

So I must be careful not to fall into that camp. Difficult not to though with post-rock though as there are prescribed formulas and such that remain constant to the music and with few exceptions (65daysofstatic for example) there is not much meandering outside the expected areas of style.

The second album from The Winchester Club sort of falls into the general area but goes a little bit further – there is a lot more guitar for example and its a lot more distorted. There is the typical serial repetition, and laminal builds from quiet elegiac bits into loud cinematic sections, and down again, and up again. There are the typical four note melodic lines that offer a stately processional feel.

So what sets this apart from the usual raft of heads down earnest young chaps with guitars type thing? Well the orchestration is somewhat different with two basses, two guitars and drums – and in that respect the band sort of veer towards early  Tortoise territory but don’t quite get there,  retaining a uniquely English quality to the sound. I particularly liked the use of the E-bow on one of the basses which allows for a unique texture to the mix. And when the band do turn up the gas then they certainly get loud and in your face. The guitar picking is also suitably different and the fx applied to the lead instruments give a different feel.

Overall its pretty sombre stuff and I would guess it works a lot better if you seen it in a live setting with visuals – on its own it does require some pretty attentive listening to get the full benefit of what is going on. There are typical post-rock tropes in here and you do feel at times that you have heard this particular style of music elsewhere in parts but mostly the band have something specific and different about them. It’s important not to have listened to non post rock music before delving into this, better to refresh yourself with your favourite music from the sub-genre , and then compare and contrast and then you get a sense of what is different about this band.

A pleasant enough listen when you are reading your favourite epic fantasy novel as the music conjurs up epic cinematic imagery.