Skip to main content

Split 12” v2 - Magic Eye / Le Thug / Zed Penguin / Plastic Animals (Song, By Toad)


4 stars
Eclectica abounds on on this four-band snapshot compendium of 
dispatches from some of the country's more gloriously, and at times 
wilfully off-piste musical glories, who provide two songs apiece to 
this limited edition vinyl, alongside more of the same to be downloaded 
on purchase of an equally limited pack of customised beer.

Plastic Animals kick things off with 'Sheltered,' a piece of sci-fi 
grunge that counterpoints urgent guitars and manic synth squiggles with 
laid-back stoner vocals. On side two, the band's second piece, 
'Floating,' is jauntier, leaning here to more hypnotically voguish 
dream-pop stylings

  Magic Eye sound beamed in from behind a shoe-gazer's fringe, so 
beguilingly lovely are the swooping female vocals and echo-box filtered 
guitar patterns on 'Flamin' Teenage', which leaves plenty of swoonsome 
space to breathe. 'Japan' drifts off into similarly exotic waters, 
guitars pinging out oriental melodies as a spooky mantra coos over what 
sounds like a primitive drum-machine reconstituted for another age.

Zed Penguin's 'Wandering' is a spartan, raggedy-assed lost soul's 
lament that sounds like it's been standing in a corner of CBGB'S 
feeling sorry for itself for the last thirty years, biding its 
melancholy time before delivering something magnificently skewed and 
deliciously morose. Zed Penguin's second track, 'Heathens' is a 
moodier, spookier-sounding affair, which pokes its musical finger in 
your chest with a loose-knit insistence that you can't help but be 
drawn into.

On Le Thug's 'New Balance', slo-mo washing-machine drones provide a 
densely impressionistic backdrop for a vocal that sounds akin to one of 
One Dove's quieter moments. Their second piece, 'Sense in Scotland,' 
closes the record with a thirteen minute epic that frames a nursery 
rhyme vocal with an increasingly dense chug that builds into a 
monster-sized space rock soundscape under-pinned with little kosmiche 
rhythms that pulse it towards another stratosphere. All of which makes 
for a package tour in waiting that might just get messy. 

The List, April 2013

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Honourable K.W. Harman: Ltd Ink Corporation

31 Bath Road, Leith Docks, March 17th-20th

In a monumental shipping container down by Leith Docks, a Sex Pistols tribute band is playing Anarchy in the U.K.. on a stage set up in the middle of the room. Either side, various constructions have been built in such a way so viewers can window shop as they promenade from one end of the room to the next, with the holy grail of a bar at either end.

Inbetween, there’s a confession booth and a mock-up of a private detective’s office with assorted documentation of real-life surveillance pinned to the walls. Two people seem to be having a conversation in public as if they're on a chat show. An assault course of smashed windows are perched on the floor like collateral damage of post-chucking out time target practice. A display of distinctively lettered signs originally created by a homeless man in search of a bed for the night are clumped together on placards that seem to be marking out territory or else finding comfort in being together. Opp…

Scot:Lands 2017

Edinburgh's Hogmanay
Four stars

A sense of place is everything in Scot:Lands. Half the experience of Edinburgh's Hogmanay's now annual tour of the country's diverse array of cultures seen over nine bespoke stages in one global village is the physical journey itself. Scot:Lands too is about how that sense of place interacts with the people who are inspired inspired by that place.

So it was in Nether:Land, where you could see the day in at the Scottish Storytelling Centre with a mixed bag of traditional storytellers and contemporary performance poets such as Jenny Lindsay. The queues beside the Centre's cafe were further enlivened by the gentlest of ceilidhs was ushered in by Mairi Campbell and her band.

For Wig:Land, the grandiloquence of the little seen Signet Library in Parliament Square was transformed into a mini version of the Wigtown Book Festival. While upstairs provided a pop-up performance space where writers including Jessica Fox and Debi Gliori read eithe…

Nomanslanding

Tramway, Glasgow until July 2nd
Four stars

In the dead of night, the audience are split in two and led under-cover into lamp-lit tented structures. Inside, what look like peasant women on the run lead us down a ramp and into a large circular pod. It feels part cathedral, part space-ship, and to come blinking into the light of such a fantastical structure after stumbling in the dark disorientates and overwhelms. Sat around the pod as if awaiting prayers to begin, we watch as performers Nerea Bello and Judith Williams incant mournfully on either side of the room. Their keening chorales embark on a voyage of their own, twisting around each other by way of the international language of singing. As if in sympathy, the walls wail and whisper, before starting to move as those on either side of the pod are left stranded, a gulf between them.

This international co-commission between Glasgow Life and the Merchant City Festival, Sydney Harbour Foreshaw Authority in Australia and Urbane Kienste …