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I've just written 'Life Without Buildings' on the skin of my banana. Breakthroughs come only once in a while in this reviewing lark and my brain is so scattershot that if fleeting thoughts are not noted they will be forgotten by the time I've typed out the album title. Anyway, there is something of the missing-in-action Life Without Buildings in the slightly jazzy, slightly jagged, brittle pop produced by this Bristol trio. It's not every band who can say they formed in an industrial lift and the therefore aptly named The Liftmen (though at least one of them is female) do have something quite different about them. They recall the oddball sideways guitar playing of the likes of Jozef K but also the circular noodliness of the '90s Chicago post rock brigade. It is however shot through with what are (relatively) concise pop-like structures. Sometimes a lady sings, sometime it's a man and the whole thing is kind of loose and freeform recalling the lopsided structures of The Raincoats or The Slits. It's not harsh though or really particularly angular, they have a soft-ish sound which at times is quite pastoral and occasionally recalls the ace Aussie strum of the likes of Ashtray Boy and Small World Experience. An impressive, varied album.
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