Friday, November 25, 2011

Review: Ornament Tournaments - Tacheles

Ornament Tournaments, with an excellent name which rolls off the tongue, have released their debut album Tacheles, and it’s a corker of of an introduction to the three-piece from Horsham. Last month I interviewed the band, talking about the album, the band, and all sorts of other good stuff. You can read the interview here

The record starts with ‘Crab Face’, which is reminiscent of melodic punk bands such as The Attika State and Grown Ups. This is true for most of the album, with jangly, twinkly guitars aplenty and math pop playing a heavy influence in their sound. ‘Flower’, which was previously an exclusive download from Musical Mathematics, is a familiar favourite. The extra instrumentation on the song adds welcome depth to what is arguably the best song of the record.

Then we move on to ‘Bungee Scream’, which - suggested by its title - starts with a bang, and then as quickly slows down and vocal harmonies come into play. This is before it erupts into a gang-vocal, riff-tastic segment interjected by the classic ‘parappa’ moment, and then concluded with syncopated riffs and glockenspiels.

‘Brass Buttons’ goes for a different approach, with a more conventional alt pop rock sound. Keep in mind that when I say ‘conventional’ here, I mean it in a relative sense compared to the other songs. ‘Avoid it’ slows the pace down slightly with its vocal harmonies and alternating quiet-loud-quiet structure. 

Title song ‘Tacheles’ is surprisingly not representative of the whole album. It’s a fine, slow-burning instrumental piece that’s maybe too short for its own good, and probably would’ve served better as an introduction or a closer. I would love to hear this song fleshed out more, because it deserves its own explosive climax.

Alas, ‘Tacheles’ is not a closer, ‘Alas’ is. At five minutes and seven seconds, it’s by far the longest in the album, and it uses that length well. Meandering guitars, driving basslines, tight drumming and woo-ohs are put to excellent use. 

Tacheles by ornamenttournaments

It’s an excellent record, and at ₤3, is an absolute bargain. Get it, listen to it, love it. I know I did.  

Monday, November 14, 2011

Musical Mathematics // Review// Yes We Canada - ‘Hector Oswald’

I was pretty gutted when Folkstone’s finest, Elephants, decided to call it a day. So imagine my delight that certain members would be teaming up with ex-members of another animal band (Wolves). So what do you get when you breed an elephant with a wolf? What, you don’t think it’s possible? Oh you skeptic, hear us exclaim in unison; indeed it is possible. Indeed, Yes We Canada.

How’s that for a long-winded, totally unnecessary introduction? Anyway let’s move forward, forget that atrocious piece of writing and listen to Yes We Canada’s new single, Hector Oswald.

Read the rest of my review and the link to listen and buy on Musical Mathematics.

Musical Mathematics // Review // Ed Wood Jr - ‘Silence’

Ed Wood Jr was a man who became a cult figure, not because he was a great director or writer, but because he was so utterly shite at what he thinks he does best. But what does this have in common with his French duo namesake? Not a whole lot, as I can tell.

‘Silence’, their upcoming EP, is an exercise in loops, syncopated rhythms, samples and some fine drumming that drives the whole experience forward. Maybe I can blag it and say that the layered rhythms and use of samples are reminiscent of Wood’s recycling of footage, sometimes creating jarring, stuttered stories that made little sense to anyone but himself. Sure, that sounds credible. And it might even be true. But unlike his films, the Lille duo has actually created something rather competent.

Read the rest of my review and the link to buy the LP on Musical Mathematics.

Musical Mathematics // EP Review// Bombers - ‘Film Fanatic’

Bombers. What an apt name. They come, they drop a bomb on you, and they’re gone. With songs that range from 1.30 to 2.30, you can listen to the whole EP in your fag break. Post-punk with a pinch of Art Brut-ish indie, it combines a frenetic sound with witty, dark lyrics sung with devil-may-care vocals. These Brummies rely on a very rate of high hooks per minute to pull you in into their sweaty brand of blink-and-you’ll-miss-it doom punk.

Read the rest of my review and the link to buy the EP on Musical Mathematics.