9/10 Mike Staff review, 27 February 2014
Here's a very interesting new duo! Vertical Scratchers is the super-team of John Schmersal (Brainiac/Enon) and Christian Beaulieu (Triclops!/Anywhere) who've suddenly materialised on my horizons with this 15-tracker out this week. They quickly settle into a stride of lean, fast-paced quirk-pop which brings to mind not only their former bands but a kind of spontaneous and slightly psychedelic indie-pop side which brings to mind bands like The Lilys, Guided By Voices (whose Unca' Bob actually makes a brief appearance here), even Pinback.
It's all delivered with total casual self-assuredness whether they're doing the twisty-turny Lilys/early Of Montreal kind of psychedelic pop or the chunky distorto-power-pop, and the amount of insanely catchy wonk-pop they manage to squeeze onto this album is impressive, if a little dizzying. 'These Plains' is an immediate highlight, with its cheeky call-and-response vocals and great crunchy jangly mangled riff, it's almost like Brainiac duelling with the Super Furry Animals, totally infectious.
This whole album is a nonstop procession of perfectly formed indie rock miniatures, another day I'd probably have a different favourite, it's going to take another two or three listens to properly take it all in, but on first impressions I'm very impressed.
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- Daughter of Everything by Vertical Scratchers
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