Singles and downloads - February 2014
New releases from The Machine Room, Trans, Bdy_Prts and Whilst reviewed
The Machine Room – 'Chances' / 'Your Head on the Floor Next Door'
(Disorder Recordings) ●●●
This second single from Edinburgh quintet the Machine Room comes in advance of the ‘Sweden EP’ from which its lead track is taken later in the month, and it’s a pretty impressive early piece of work. ‘Chances’ is atmospheric and powerfully produced, at once blending that U2 wall of guitars sound and a much more subtle shoegaze edge in a manner which reminds of Editors, while songwriter John Bryden’s densely accented and effects-laden vocal comes into its own amid the dreamy, strangely 80s-recalling ‘Your Head on the Floor Next Door’.
Trans – Green EP
(Rough Trade) ●●●●
The odd couple pairing of sometime Suede guitarist Bernard Butler and Jackie McKeown of Glasgow outfits the Yummy Fur and the 1990s is most thrilling for being entirely unexpected in tone. This follow-up to last year’s debut ‘Red EP’ is steeped in a particularly resonant sense of 1970s Americana, from the breezy Modern Lovers vocals and jangling Velvet Underground guitars of ‘Thinking About a Friend’ and ‘Tangerine’ to the clattering Neil Young instrumental which ends ‘The Prince’ and the lo-fi glam rock of ‘Lights’.
Trans play the CCA, Glasgow, Thu 13 Mar.
Bdy_Prts – IDLU
In Glasgow terms, Bdy_Prts are a brand new supergroup, combining the talents of Strike the Colours’ Jenny Reeve and Sparrow and the Workshop’s Jill O’Sullivan with, in the case of this debut track, the production talents of Julian Corrie, aka Miaoux Miaoux. On the basis of just this song there’s plenty of potential for them to do big things in the future, with a smoky, minimal layer of electric guitar combining with some lovely harmonies in a reserved but taut fashion, leaving us eager to hear more.
Launch party at Nice‘n’Sleazy, Glasgow, Wed 5 Mar.
Whilst – Everything There Was Was There
(Optimo Music) ●●●●●
Another brilliant and hard to categorise Optimo joint, led off by the fantastic ‘Goya’s Skull’, a track which condenses the cowbell funk of Liquid Liquid with a dash of Jeff Mills and the ghostly urban growl of early Factory Records. There’s also some sax-led afrojazz on ‘Untitled from North Africa’, moody krautrock amid ‘Umgebung’ and more of a free jazz element to the EP’s final two tracks. To hear them is to crave more.