Something Anorak / Bowling | CRASH Presents

Something Anorak / Bowling | CRASH Presents

I listened to Something Anorak over the Winter. My pink ears flicked through the musical offerings of local songwriters, players, bands, and when I came across them I found myself listening to the work in perhaps half-an-hour stretches, and in such stretches I found rich and interesting elements. The Bristol duo recently released their sophomore LP Bowling. How is it?

Again, intriguing. Somewhat elusive but also exciting in its variation. The band shift and move, in and out of any distinguishable genre, from passages of dissonance-doused guitar to high-tempo, ethereal rock. This is the tracklist and – for good measure – a few wandering thoughts, beyond hyphens, drawn from my time listening to it throooough:

And In The Current State – there be the dissonance on a riff to get us started. The vocalist has a good voice, a grainy voice, not massively dissimilar to the style of Cousin Kula’s frontman. In fact, those bands share a certain sound, and each offer an enjoyable nuance. This one starts slow and builds to a close of light white noise and some funky effects amongst it.

Heterochromia – (that is a mismatch in the colourisation of one’s eyes) – quick rock affair. Plenty of distortion on the voice and it’s smartly produced, with great simplicity to the snare and guitar setting pace together until quiet…and crash cymbal aplenty before the plead: ‘Look into my eyes’.

Pretty Little Box – Dark, existential lyricism. A tone lower he sings, bassier on the strings, sprawling and morphing nicely into a psychedelic, floaty, few-minute falsetto.

Shake Fist At Sky – Backing vocals and delayed feedback again evoke a detached feel; there’s a sadness in that but the rhythm doesn’t cease, it drives on during desperate hey’s and near-cry conclusions.

Now For The Kill – a syncopation somewhere in the hook and it’s unusually compelling til two minutes in, where there’s some jarring vocal work while muffled crash persists on every fourbeat.

Brahminy Kites – noisy instrumentation, offset by punctuations that struggle to break through and/or make sense of it all, and I sense it’s deliberately so. Eerie strums arrive after 90 seconds & interjecting cymbals can’t stop it becoming a tender affair for a moment, but the frenetic world and its frenetic wind returns to conquer the Kite. This is a testament to the variation I mentioned, and it sounds effortless. The voice is suited to the ebbs and flows, a pleasure, the compositions bold and subtle in equal measure.

My Kid – more clarity to the vocal segments, but besides that it sounds similar in style (and in topic – of a ‘pretty girl’ and ‘going backwards’) to the rest of the LP, that is, until the bell of a Ride starts playing doubletime on the basic beat and brings a slight jazz element to the party.

Bowling – the short eponymous track is ambient and winds down before fully establishing itself as a thought. Like a ball off the end of that shiny wood, i guess.

Stupide – rolling snare and floor-tom, again accompanied in no time to good effect by catchy guitarwork (both players have mastered the craft of the sound they produce). The falsetto fights its way through romantic arcana.

Purplish Brown – Typically dissociative. That’s too many syllables for two words. What I mean is that a fine interplay runs through the record and it is present in abundance on this final track. Instruments are manipulated and reverberated to create a curious atmosphere, then there’s wording (which seems at once forthcoming, passionate and reticent) and numerous tempo changes, both of which mix things up further til the colour of the indie-rock is an odd but strangely pleasant purplish brown. Then, the small matter (the all matter) of a clicking noise, like a frenzied watch, orchestrating the entire back end of the track…to a groaning vocal and a sense that it’s all going to start over again…

Strong release. Structurally similar throughout but with some real nice turns. A sound well practiced and well crafted.

 

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