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- Night Bus by The Ancients
7/10 Clinton Staff review, 15 November 2013
Many bands have one great song. Actually I think every band has one great song, even the bands I hate.....even...Elbow? No actually they are an exception. No great songs. But, anyway, it's something that must always prove difficult when ‘in concert’ later in your career. My favourite tale is of Norman Greenbaum (writer of ‘Spirit in The Sky’) who later in his life gave up trying to perform other material and just performed 45 minute versions of the hit song.
The Ancients are a neat little slightly shambolic pop band out of Australia who use jaunty oddball rhythms and nicely affected flangy guitars to make their point. Half way through the first side of this record comes ‘Hey Now’ which is an absolute stonewall classic of a tune. Those hip cats at Spin mag have been going crazy about it and I am inclined to agree. Opening with the kind of scratchy distorted guitar beloved of several Aussie lopsided pop groups (Minimum Chips spring to mind) it lurches this way and that before exploding into the kind of chorus the generally tune-free MGMT would kill for. Insanely catchy and thanks to some pretty lively drumming it belts out of the speakers.
The rest of the album pales in comparison but that's not to say it is without merit. ‘Chaos and Futility’ opens with jagged post punk guitars and a neat little flourish on each bar that kinda reminds me of Disco Inferno. ‘Green Face’ wanders hither and thither in a distorted psych haze, drums akimbo. ‘Hamster’ comes across all My Bloody Valentine with oddball chord changes and wafts of noise.
A really nice shoegazy pop album by a distinctive and unusual band.
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