Galchen (4 stars)

13th Note, Glasgow, Fri 25 May


It’s near impossible for Scottish bands to do instrumental post-rock without being labelled Mogwai copyists in some shape or form. Perhaps realising that when they first started experimenting with discordant, swelling guitar noise, and drums that can be heard from space, Glasgow four-piece Galchen have cut the genre with a potent dose of something a little different - and made a trippy cocktail all of their own in the process.

On the surface they trade in familiar stuff: dense, heart-wrenching soundscapes, the trusty quiet/loud dichotomy etc. However, it’s the fast beating core of this band that’s really special: melodic, churning bass lines that turn the rhythm over with almost scientific precision, and those drums - the violently relentless guiding force in each of their five minute extraterrestrial operas.

Factor in the various whooshes, beeps, samples and all else that the big haired fellow on the synths contributes, and Galchen make for a hell of a thrilling experience - one you can cry and dance to at the same time, should you feel so inclined. There aren’t many bands you can say that about are there?

(Malcolm Jack)

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