There's a lot of music being made at the moment that incorporates brass but none, I suspect, which has put it to such central and good use.
This LP really should have a sticker saying “banjos and singing saws were used in the making of this recording”…
I met Johnny Marr (guitarist of The Smiths) recently, in Portland. He has joined a Portland band, so I met him at a BBQ, fucking Johnny Marr!
As my father said when he was unwittingly (certainly unwillingly) exposed to the track Spine Milk, “it sounds like they had all their instruments pinched and went to the kitchen”
we head off to see the intriguingly named My Cat is an Alien, who hail from Italy and apparently do unspeakable things to guitars
“All songs written, recorded, produced and played by Rob in his room except for some parts probably recorded at Zach's house whilst he was at lunch.”
Incendiary are instructed into the nefarious arts of necktie tying (bow tie for the gents and a style that shall henceforth be known as “The Jackson” for the ladies).
Be warned, at no point are volume levels raised; restraint and downtrodden charm are present right from the opening bars on Hotaru.
To paraphrase Mark E Smith, the audience are here to feel the wrath of Brandon Flowers' bombast.
Brakes/Killers Paradiso 18/11/06
Very much in the school of Terry Riley, Be Still is an incredibly rewarding listen.
The first record was made with the thought that no-one was listening, and that it was just something to put out in Minneapolis, with absolutely no sense of anticipation.
I particularly enjoyed the drawing of the girl with a bloody great vole on her head. Well they are from Norway…
The remarkable sense of claustrophobic pressure in the piece lends a feeling that this is in some ways a soundtrack for a slaying myth
Get Lonely almost creeps into Blue Nile territory with introspective images and thoughts being played out over a musically sympathetic background
The gravelly Australian voice intoning the words of wisdom puts one in mind of bluff art critic Robert Hughes, (a scary thought indeed, as I for one don't need Robert Hughes going all New Age on me thank you very much…)
Why couldn't they have done this earlier when my attention was flagging?
If you like acid troubadours, you'll like this. Mercifully the styles are mixed up track by track, bringing a sense of freshness and inventiveness to the work.
Soon we leave the sunlit uplands for some doleful Canadian pessimism, which, to be honest, we've been expecting.
A lady with a Received Pronunciation accent tells us that “you are listening to Heavy International”. That's how this LP starts. Things are never as self-explanatory again.
A cod-heavy voice asks “tell does he love you/like the way I love you?” over an extremely Gothic backdrop. It is brilliant, funny and a teeny-weeny bit disturbing.