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- Arrow Shower by Way Through
9/10 Li'l Biz Staff review, 07 October 2011
'Silver Arrows' is the excellent debut from Way Through a.k.a Chris Tipton and Claire Titley, owners of London's finest record label Upset The Rhythm. With the demise of their previous outfit Hands On Heads I was concerned I wouldn't see these delightful characters playing music again but here they are all reinvigorated and back to business. Way Through's existence is inspired by their frequent trips to the villages and haunts of Shropshire where they grew up. The album title itself is taken from a set text of Philip Larkin's 'Whitsun Weddings' curiously annotated by a 14 year old schoolboy and found by the group in junk shop in Much Wenlock, a village I have fond memories of from my own childhood trips. I'm not overly familiar with the text but from memory I recall it being an overly long poem describing the events of a train journey taken from the Midlands to London on Whitsun Saturday, a popular day for weddings. Whether the band are primarily interested in the annotated version is unclear but apparently it's the '..sense of timeless England contrasted with the awkward adolescent reading of these poems and this juxtaposition which is the key to this record'. Musically Way Through sit in a pretty unique position in that they sound nothing like any band I can think of presently. Their moniker as pastoral punks describes their sound aptly so maybe no other reference is necessary. You could look to psychedelic and traditional forms of folk music as a reference. In parts they certainly invoke elements of Paul Giovanni and Magnet's 'Wickerman' soundtrack, especially in the use of backward and cryptic field recordings, as is evident in the use of field recordings taken at the Whittlesey's annual Straw Bear procession. Elements of Lazurus Clamp, The Rebel and Crass also come to mind and, to a degree, there are hints of a the tropical indie-pop that has made such a big impact on the London music scene but honestly, it's not that easy to pin down which is undoubtedly part of it's charm and the secret to it's potential longevity. I should stop writing now. It's only my first listen and I'm too overwhelmed by the attention to detail to make any sense of it at work. Definitely worthy of your attention though.
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