Friday 19 February 2016

Faux Seattle Has Fallen

After taking in the jagged exorcism that is Brisbane band Clever's new track, it feels a jump to be launching into Fall Seattle, the eponymous debut record from the North Virginian quartet. Out through the excellent Faux Discx label (Sauna Youth, Monotony, Hookworms, Tense Men), it is a lucky dip of  the past, reappropriated in bedrooms, kitchens and basements, crystallising into a sonorous sojourn sparkling with jangle and noise, introversion and extroverted emulsions. There is a Deerhunter-meets-The Raincoats-meets-Grandaddy esoteric clarity to opener 'Carol'; a sundrenched meander through Lotus Plaza's back garden on 'Wanda Jackson'; a Yo La Tengo hopped-up malaise to 'Time'. 'New York' could be Ratcat trying their hand at Dinosaur Jr, a suitably fractious racket with cavernous space that still feels intimate amid the throat-tearing catharsis. The twang and meandering space of 'Boyhood' has me entranced - it is the central song, and the centrifugal force of the album, somehow slowing everything down but bringing it all into focus. The opening drums for 'Blau' is ominous before the onslaught, a shimmering menace not unlike the inimitable Women (which is why it is probably my favourite track here); 'Suburban Stain' is a guitar dream, off the books via the Books; the jumped up yet broody pop of 'Nothing You Can Hold On To' meanwhile sets it all free. 'Demon Son' takes us into black-spark shoegaze territory, albeit with bottom-of-the-well reverb sparseness in fits and bursts (another great song). Fall Seattle close up shop with 'Separation Anxiety', a mild, contemplative that burbles and percolates, a sepia-burnt daydream rumination on all that has come before. This is an incredibly strong record - there have been some Real Estate comparisons (which I can see in part), but despite my constant attraction to band signifiers above, the bowerbird genre splicing here makes the album a unique and highly rewardable listen. I really like this one - you should all grab Fall Seattle here.

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