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Never Enough Notes
By Stef Mo
Intended as a taster for their new album, for which, in their own words, The Sailplanes ha’ve been “toning down the abrasive sounds and concentrating more on playing our fucking instruments”, this 5-track EP is, for a band who count “clanging, banging and awful singing” among their influences, a stylish and interesting piece of work.
Singers Stacey Hine (whose laid-back, half-spoken vocals are definitely the stronger of the two) and Tim Webster (who occasionally veers into overly-mannered rock’n'roll histrionics) float on a sea of tight drums and taut bass, complimented nicely by slightly off-kilter chord sequences and overlapping, de-tuned riffs. The lyrics are peppered with striking imagery – “Photograph the Past” spots deserted stations, Easter eggs on a balcony and rotting climbing frames – and confident flourishes, particularly in “Tilted”’s shrug of “don’t know your name, number, where you live”. Each song is sharp and doesn’t outstay its welcome – even rolling instrumental “Copenhagen Inspires” manages to stay focused and not lapse into self-indulgence – and the occasional shriek of feedback keeps things from getting too head-noddy.
If there are criticisms to be made, it’s that duet “Die Brucke” lays bare the gap in quality between the two singers, and a couple of the the songs share slightly similar-sounding riffs. But kudos to The Sailplanes for injecting some vitality into the guitar, bass and drums combo, which has been somewhat ill-served of late, as bands struggle to find new ways to exploit it. Based on this selection, their forthcoming album should be worth checking out.