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HIGH VOLTAGE ! - POWER & DEMONSTRATIONS
:: The Sonar Yen :: Lisa Brown :: Performance :: The Longcut ::
29 November 2004 / No Label Required / 4 Trk 10
By JA

“Be Here Now”, said Oasis back in 1997. How depressed we would be if Manchester still sounded like that seven years later. But it doesn’t.

Manchester is alive with sounds that transcend the notions that we “never got over the Hacienda”. The man with the cheque book and porkpie hat may be milling round Oldham Street, but we don’t need him to tell us that we’ve got something special up here. If you wanted a postcard of what was hot up here right now,‘Power and Demonstrations’ would be the one with an artistic photo of a renowned monument.

And so this great four track Vinyl really is something special. Kicking off with The Sonar Yen’s “DECISIONS = REGRETS”, you'll most probably find yourself already intimate with the great music that this collection throws out. The track, a cut from the Soviet Union album “The Slow Picture”, is remastered and feeds in great angular, feeding back slabs of post progressive alt.rock. Which sometimes hides, but only ever so slightly behind the curtains of compelling urban gothic rock. But wait until the cliamtic bass line cuts in - another striking cue for the ferocity of the track to increase exponentially.

Ace electro wizards PERFORMANCE contrast styles sharply with the tough, but digitised rock of “Lost Youth”. It cuts out big slices of danceable electronic with dangerous ease. Sounding very much like A Flock Of Seagulls having it out with New Order and Blancmange is good in my book. And this is good. It’s also a very clever pop song sharpened up with some rather neat guitar flourishes.

Flicking over to the B-Side, Lisa Brown creep carefully, but sure footed, into the proceedings with some compelling wall to wall atmospherics. Guitar driven ballads this isn’t. Instead Lisa Brown concentrate on evoking a sound that carries itself ever upward. As though there’s no roof on the world and only the emptiness of space can prevent it soaring any higher. As it builds to its rather stunning crescendo, the guitars seem to leave large imprints in the front of your skull - like you’ve just held something too close to your face because you couldn't get enough of it.

Tying things up nicely are The Longcut with their heady instrumental “Spires” which just builds and builds and.....Builds. A brilliant tour de force of melting guitars and screaming drums which dream up the best wigged out alt.prog since The Verve’s Storm In Heaven – yet sounds nothing like it. Orchestral by its nature, but as brutal as a U-Boat preparing to sink passing ships. A brillaint prelude to their debut release on Delatsonic.

A record that freeze frames 2004 for just short of 20 minutes and provides a time capsule for the kids of future which just says – "listen – it really did happen.....and it was THIS good....Buy This.


MMMMM



POWER & DEMONSTRATIONS is OUT on Monday the 22nd Nov 2004 - see the High Voltage website for details


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