The English funk-rock quintet We Are Bandicoot are due to release the single Limitations on the 25th of March.
We Are Bandicoot
Undercuts of guitar blossom like newly opening flowers as Limitations hip-snakes its way into the room.
The scattered tempos which stop and start remind me of driving in a queue of heavy traffic on the motorway, where someone irritating five miles up the road at the front of the queue once again decides to test their brake lights just for the sake of it, but rather than tempting you to bang your head on the steering wheel in frustration, there is a rationale.
We Are Bandicoot cast scant and wary eye over the world around and the switches in pace are ones of sideways stare as they identify edifices of consternation on which they desire to place condemnatory commentary, demanding the listener also shake themselves out of their reverie of somnambulism.
The quintet do not make life easy for the listener and for that I give them full credit as they deliver their excoriating messages and choose to do it in a wrapping very few agit-rock bands attempt.
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The English alt-rock trio Allegory release the single Shriek on the 20th.
With a lighter palette and buzzier pace than music previously featured Shriek does as it suggests – hurls itself into the room in a bluster. The track is one of those Marmite moments, as it will either gnaw the eardrums or swirl around them.
There is something almost Björk like about Shriek, though not as a pale comparator, rather a fusion of the more typical emotional melodies by the trio and a more sparring vocal. The juxtaposition of the quiet even spaces of the acoustics with the voice which chases up and down scales, pace and volume, gives the track its interest.
The fact that I am asking you to spend time with this new release confirms that I do like Marmite and I welcome this difference of presentation by Allegory and look forward to hearing more from them later in the year.
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The Swedish indie-rock trio Oxen released the single Only Forever on the 12th.
Those of particularly strong visual recognition, may well recall the three faces in another band called Great Garb, who were introduced back in 2014 and yes they are one and the same.
A new band name and a fresh single, with a slightly different emphasis as Oxen resonate far more strongly of the indie elements which they blend with tinctures of shoegaze to deliver a track in Only Forever, which slides between dreamy echoing guitar and bustling party steps.
There is an elegance to Only Forever which makes this a track that can handle any time of day, providing both a sound with which to sit in quiet contemplation, whilst equally happy strutting its stuff on the dance-floor.
Whilst I miss the strong bass emphasis of the previous iteration of the trio, there is a more confident freedom of expression and delivery in Only Forever and I look forward to catching up with Oxen over their new direction of travel.
Only Forever – Single – Oxen is available on iTunes.*
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The US alt-rock band Ricecrackers were introduced last year and released their latest single – Five Gold Rings – on the 12th.
A slight line-up change now finds Nathaniel Peirce on drums, other than that the players remain the same, although in Five Golden Rings the style is quite altered, in a track that draws from free-form jazz.
Pitch and tempo changes feature significantly, giving the track a dramatic presence, almost theatrical-poetry in delivery as the inflections underscore particular ideas. The voice challenges the audience with haunting use of unexpected keys, whilst the percussion slips between pace highlighting the disturbance of the lyrics. Guitar and Bass, whilst adding to the drama and always distinguishable, take the role of framing the voice in supportive roles.
There is enough of similarity for those who already know Ricecrackers to grab hold of, while being sufficiently different to prick their ears inquisitively. Although, on a personal level, free-free form jazz is always something I struggle to get to grips with, Five Gold Rings also retains enough grounding for the just under two and a half minute track, which is available on bandcamp, for it to make sense and a track that I do enjoy.
I give credit to Ricecrackers for having the gumption to strike out on a different path.
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The US indie-gaze quartet Sea Span I will come back to in full when there is more to hear.
With just one track, I already find myself rolling around in a duvet with Sea Span as the funkadelic shimmers of echo sparkle off the walls. There are some sounds you just want to hug and hold close for their hydrating inconsequentialism. The quartet don’t seek to embattle the listener with conjecture, rather like the Andrex puppies just make you feel better, but it is not inanity.
Sea Span is able to conjoin frothing bubbles with mellifluous electronic reverb that finds the listener becalmed, though not submerged in detritus. The quartet are able to traverse the precipitous ridge that is mainstream media tat and music that can be enjoyed for the creative spark, with their quietly spoken diatribe of bureaucratic insurrection, finding the audience looking forward to hearing more.
My apologies for the slightly delayed review of the single, but clarifying a detail or two, meant an exchange of emails which took a few days.
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