London based Popular Workshop have a very appropriate name. They sound fresh & busy with an emphasis on creating itchy, dynamic post hardcore pop songs built to stand repeated knocks...erm listens. They constantly impress me with their debut album 'We're Alive & Not Alone'. Steve Albini handles the engineers desk in his inimitable style, fleshing out the tight, hook infused rhythm section and making the guitars sing, swagger, grumble & swoop like old Cable, Bob Tilton & Ligament records! There's less emphasis on dynamic angst here though, more on hair raising, lively tunes that glide by in a vortex of velocity & blistering tunefulness. This accomplished & unpretentious 3 piece prove that combining edgy indie pop, post-punk shades & the essence of math rock does not spell dummed down cop out, rather thrilling, grinding ear candy! On 4th listen, this album proves it's mettle, corrosive yet melodic and hugely rewarding! I especially love closer 'Villains who twirl their moustaches are easy to spot' It sounds like a grungier Quickspace, full of snaking little guitar codas and a sludgy bass with some wonky, yearning vocals. A great album, courtesy of This is Fake DIY.
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