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By Mike Wood
If you can imagine Joni Mitchell writing melodies for Captain Beefheart, you might be able to begin to nail down the outer edges of Sailplanes. Melodic but atonal, locked and beautiful but abrasive and in your face, the four tracks on "Mild Peril" evoke so much sonic power. One listen is enough to get it: this is one of those bands that KNOWS. Available free on their website (http://www.thesailplanes.com/), there is no reason not to take a chance on this short shocking set.
"Copenhagen Apsires" is a taut gorgeous piece that flirts with Ubu-esque extension before delivering same. "Die Brucke" is the most obvious post-rock offering, with the angular lines, snotty vocals and 1977 production. These tunes are driven by the twin guitar/vocal attack of Stacey Hine and Tim Webster. The rhythm section of Mihail Cucos on bass and drummer Yola Radowicz provide a perfect seemingly erratic bottom; what they are doing is riffing off the melody and keeping a loose framework for micro and macro tonal tangents. Especially on the jangly "Titled" and "The Backs of My Eyes," the bass and drums ground the swirling short melodies (both oddly reminiscent of 80s New England bands like Throwing Muses and Dumptruck) but give plenty of room for distortion to suggest further layers.
British and now Berlin residents The Sailplanes are a force of nature well worth the risk of journalistic name-dropping lameness. "Mild Peril" belongs with the best, and the band needs to be approached with that kind of expectation. Did I mention FREE download?