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a second, or ten years later
By Lee Puddefoot
Last years ‘The Deepest Red EP’ was a great introduction to this dark and edgy three piece, but this mini album shows even more potential. They still have the same Sonic Youth and Q And Not U tendencies but there are moments of Velvet Underground like experimentalism.
Using the instruments to their full potential, they play with unexpected time changes that all of a sudden stop and start like some sort of drug infused urban ballet. ‘A Knife, A Camera And A Bag’ grips you with the vice like guitar riffs that tumble over the bass lines and clatter ungracefully into the toms creating a beautiful fractured racket. One of the albums stand out tracks is ‘Photograph The Past’ which sees bass player Stacey take on lead vocals quoting the line that features in the album title behind a backing that is sheer Velvets, from the shimmering drums to the intermittent guitar parts it creates a frightening and desolate image.
The vocals are split between Stacey Hine and guitarist Tim Webster and he demonstrates his snarling ability moist effectively on Strangers where he growls over the menacing rhythms and contorted arrangements.
Artrock has become too synonymous with new wave. Art can be any form of expression in its very definition. But what really excels acts and individuals are those that take this way of expressing themselves and aren’t afraid to step out of the comfort zone push it towards the boundaries and see what they can achieve. The Sailplanes certainly fall into this category. With 8 songs on the album that total less than 18 minutes their music isn’t pretty, it’s not meant to be. It won’t sit alongside the shiny pop of Maximo Park or Franz Ferdinand. The music is uncomfortable and disjointed. And most importantly, challenging. They challenge the listener and they don’t expect everyone to meet that challenge. But when you do you will find some songs of real raw beauty, sometimes the hardest path trodden are by those at the front.