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The cover of this record is very pastoral-looking and all the songs are named after places, so when I first put the CD in the player and heard field recordings of passing traffic I thought Upset! The Rhythm had taken an unexpected swerve into ambient sound design.
Not so, however, it turns out this duo, label honchos Chris Tipton and Clare Titley, are peddling an earnest late ‘90s indiemo kind of racket with spidery guitar twiddles and stumbling rhythms, although it is a concept album of sorts with each song written in a different location (hence the track titles) and interspersed with weird little musique concrete collages presumably recorded at the locations in question.
The songs themselves are quite varied, ranging from straightforward Wedding Present-esque indie rock and Meanwhile Back In Communist Russia-ish spoken word over atmospheric folkiness to the weird cosmic post-dub sparkle of ‘Stoke Poges’, and the boy singer has an unpretentious everyman delivery like you used to hear a lot more of in the ‘90s. I quite like how they switch between quite tightly written twiddlemo passages and more meandering experimental weirdness, and it never gets off-puttingly harsh or grating. It’s a pretty solid listen.
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