Unfortunately early bird Jack Etches caught my musical worm Islet yesterday, so it would hardly be appropriate for me to ramble on about their greatness here and now (check out his post if you haven’t already). I can however confirm that seeing Islet is rather Lord Of The Flies, with the particularly docile audience playing the role Piggy; In a time when most bands will happily stand static and nonchalant Islet are an experience not to be missed.
In the same week as what I have begun to call ‘my encounter’ with Islet I saw post-punkers Shrag, who in spite of their ugly sounding name actually play surprisingly melodic (though with a good deal of shouting too!) and incredibly well crafted songs. To my delight they played a handful of new songs from their new album that until this point i was aware of its existence (I bought it there and then- It’s a corker!)
An unfortunate sacrifice I made by seeing Shrag was missing PVT (formerly Pivot) who played the same night just next door at the famous Brudenell Social Club. Doubly unfortunate is that since last week PVT have now become perhaps my new favourite band, though that is not to say I regret my choice in any way! They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, I’m just hoping the same is true for my ears and that I’ll catch them next time round..
Too compensate for this loss i have however been indulging listening to a LOT of PVT. It’s fairly hard to pigeonhole their sound but it’s fairly easy to see that they have drawn influence from electronica, post-rock (and it’s geeky cousin math-rock) and prog thus meaning I will file them next to Tortoise and Battles (who they toured with at some point i believe). Whilst there is the fair amount of noodling as conjured by my description Pivot have in no way neglected the riff- bass lines and thunderous drums punctuate the swirling synth arpeggios and staccato guitar making their music almost danceable.
The drummer in particular shines on this track with innovative linear drum patterns that I love so dearly, also making sure that the music never sounds too cluttered a la Hella. It was the synth lines on this song which really reminded me of a lot Tortoise’s ‘Beacons Of Ancestorship’ (worth a peek if you haven’t heard it already) and now i can’t rid the lazy comparison from my head, but there you go.
In contrast the intro of ‘O Soundtrack My Life’ sounds something more like Soft Cell or Gary Numan might come up with, before ascending into a post-hardcore-y battle of bass Vs. Drums. Again it is the percussion really takes this track to the next level with funky ghost notes propelling the song along whilst the other instruments interweave or fill out the track texture wise.
On their most recent record ‘Church With No Magic’ PVT have added vocals to their previously instrumental sound. My scepticism towards this addition is similar to that of when i found Acoustic Ladyland were adding a guitarist to their lineup; that this musical newcomer might make the sound far too crowded. Luckily I was proved wrong, this may partly be due to the generally unobtrusive nature of the vocals which often act more as a rhythmic device rather than a melodic one.
See Y’all next week