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a second, or ten years later
The Plastic Ashtray
By Pete Stanley
The Sailplanes are a three piece who are gaining excitement through the world of webzines and independent music magazines. The band have already played around 80 dates in the UK and have finally put the finishing touches to this their debut release, A ‘Second, Or Ten Years Later’. Some may call it a mini album, but 8 tracks warrants this a full length review in my eyes. Essentially the band play as a three piece but have added some extra violin/viola to add extra atmosphere to their songs. I think personally they are keen to point this out, it’s their ethics as a band to be stripped back, bare & real.
The sound is steeped in the lofi rock scene and hits upon the fuzzy thrashings of early Sonic Youth, the manic creativity of The Fall & follows on nicely from the sad demise of bands like Ikara Colt (who are sadly missed!). ‘Strangers’ kicks things off in a spazzy & confusing style. Stabs of guitar cut in through out of control jangle. There’s even shades of Jesus & Mary Chain’s sonic feedback explosions. It’s all very British sounding, the violins adding some extra longing drama to the lofi thrashings with singer Tim becoming increasingly angry as the song bounces along.
‘Rhetoric’ is a short and snappy song which shows the band in full out thrashy no-wave guitar attacks. A wall of guitar screeches leave this song in a weird & pleasant atmospheric state whilst quickly leading into ‘Violent Storm’ which also weighs in short at under two minutes but doesn’t waste any time being fast paced, angry, manic & dangerous. The boy/girl vocals add dynamics to each track, varying the feeling of each song. First thing you notice is the band don’t have a bass player. Each guitar uses a different tone to fill out the sound. They pull it off especially on songs like ‘Indifference’ which is a clear stand out with it’s skipping drumming & break downs, again recalling Sonic Youth in their fiery youth. One guitar plays the wall of sound, the other louder & more bassy cutting through. The interplay is great.
‘Photograph The Past’ slows things down. If less is more, Sailplanes really do play the best game. The sparing violins again add an extra layer to complement the stripped down post punk. There’s an arty edge that runs through their music which is never pretentious, overly experimental to the point where you smash the speakers in or just too plain cocky. The guitar sound is interesting and engaging. The dynamics of the songs are interestingly arranged & pulled off by the great range of drum fills, tricks and fun.
Sailplanes have a small masterpiece in ‘A Second, Or Ten Years Later’. If you long for fuzz trips to the depths of Indie rock, the passion for noise rock or just want something which isn’t playing the boring indie game, then this album is something that will fill your ears with joy. Throughout the eight tracks presented here, Sailplanes have executed a kind of sound that can’t be forced. Preconceived pretentiousness? Guess again. Sailplanes make a noise which is firstly honest to themselves & to your ears. You can only be humbled by that.