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- Fjree Feather EP by Forest Swords
9/10 Clinton Staff review, 24 June 2011
It says EP on the blurb but this would pass for an album in most people's minds. What we have here is an incredibly limited, white vinyl, soon to be out of print collection of early demo material from the man who wowed us with his excellent 'Dagger Paths' opus. This was previously released on very limited CDr only - the music is slightly less realised, less dynamic and varied than the long player but no less impressive. The main crux of the sound is to gather together huge clumping dubbed out guitar textures with heavy propulsive bass and echoey drums. Echoes of Jah Wobble/Pil in the basslines whilst the melodies such as they are come across as a more experimental edgy version of some of Mogwai's more tuneful moments. It feels cobbled together but in a good way - cut and paste mechanics - and there's an industrial feel to the old school drum machine. On impressive tracks such as 'Trust Your Blood' the guitars are cavernous as samples are dropped into the mix and the whole feel is of late night XX-like melancholy with screaming post rock guitars. Elsewhere main man Matthew Barnes displays a love of noisy metallic guitars and clattering beat box rhythms on the final two tracks which both have something of Earth's slow moving cinema to them, the latter 'Bones' exploring fuzzed out clattery funk. Overall it's the sound of an artist finding his feet before he lays down the big debut. Another reason to buy is that all proceeds go to the Red Cross in Japan. In today's quick moving world it's easy to forget the devastating aftermath of the earthquake and it's good to see several labels and artists releasing benefits to help those trying to rebuild their lives.
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