Pocket Revolution - Matt Abysmal turns the world the right way up...
dEUS - Pocket Revolution (V2)
Six years is a lifetime for an interalbum hiatus, and since last 1999's 'The Ideal Crash' dEUS have convalesced while The Flaming Arcade Mercury FireLips have all assumed the darlinghood that their widescreen, filmic art-rock has better deserved.
'Pocket Revolution' is the perfectly-pitched comeback. Low-key, high-quality, mid-tempo. And there's very little hyperbole needed to elevate it to album-of-the-year status.
Some context: dEUS evaded the whole grunge fallout of the early/mid-nineties with some perplexing, dense, unswervingly creative records that threw raucous guitars, scratchy violins, lush instrumentation, angular jazz, skittery rhythms and syrupy melodies at a canvas that led to the adjectives 'weird' and 'eclectic' acting as smokescreens to their abilities as songwriters and particularly arrangers. And whilst it's true that 'Pocket Revolution' - despite breathlessly morphing from squally noise to smoky bossa-nova torchsongs in a heartbeat - is their most sonically coherent record to date, dEUS are one of the few bands to have consistently comparisons with their peers whilst maintaining a coherent idea of What Their Records Should Sound Like.
Always different; always the same. 'Pocket Revolution' reinstates dEUS as continental Europe's most important band since Kraftwerk.
Spyamp - GTi (Pet Piranha)
Hmmm. Dundee goes DC
Spyamp are one of approximately 85 million perfectly competent and relatively worthy bands to take the whole post-hardcore template and studiously refashion it into something that, whilst perceptively different to All The Other Bands Of Whom Spyamp Remind These Jaded Ears, can't really be set above or beyond or beneath or in any other bracket than their contemporaries, who seem to multiply at an exponentially quicker rate. Put dismissively, if you like Cursive/Hot Water Music/YourCodeNameIs:Milo/Kids Near Water/Jetplane Landing, you'll probably like this. Whether your hitherto Spyampless life will be enriched/enhanced/affirmed by this earth-shatteringly, spine-tinglingly, jaw-droppingly OK record is another matter
No, I'm being unduly harsh. 'GTi' is full of full of interesting structures, nice little hooks, clever snippets of momentary inspiration and songs that don't outstay their welcome. One glibly wonders if they could recognise a tune at point blank range, but Spyamp are at the more restrained end of the generic spectrum, and pop thrills are at a premium amidst the studious tempo shifts and 29-chord riffs.
There. I didn't mention Fugazi once. Oh, bugger
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