Aathens are a post-punk band from London. Their sound has all the usual hallmarks of a post-punk band - angular guitars and a precise rhythm section. However, there’s also an unexpected liquidity to their sound. Virtue Signal is their debut LP on Blank Editions. Aathens line-up features members of fellow London bands Ice Baths and H.Grimace.
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Every band sounds like this now. I’m not sure if I’m complaining or celebrating; is it annoying that every single guitar band that exists wants to jangle with the scars of bands like Viet Cong, Trust Punks, Omni, The Hecks and Fake Palms… or is it a reason for fistbumps with the heavens? What Aather do on ‘Virtue Signal’ is exciting, making high-octane guitar rock that carries me along with it. Unlike many of their contemporaries, it’s a clean record, giving you the most accessible route through the knotted guitar interpolations.
Knocking on noise rock but never walking through the door, this record’s angularity is light and involving, keen on particular hooks that ground their songs on solid standing. Their precision gives way to brief moments of controlled catastrophe -- a drum roll that sounds like it might explode into smithereens or a meandering guitar that rounds back on itself. An indie rock record after my heart, it suggests a u-turn it could take before keeping on with the keeping on. The guitars, as always, are good: if you like all the bands I already mentioned, you need not read these words at all.r
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- Virtue Signal by Aathens
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