Brighton’s Air Formation actually split up in 2010, but reappeared briefly 3 years ago with the EP Were We Ever Here. Their new LP, Near Miss, is the first since their split. Influenced by shoegaze and bands such as The Jesus and Mary Chain, Flying Saucer Attack and Spacemen 3, they have gone for authenticity here by getting Pat Collier (JAMC, House Of Love, Primal Scream) to record and mix the album. LP on Club AC30.
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On vinyl which looks like an explosion in the peach and raspberry factory, Air Formation release their fourth album which is no mean feat since they split up in 2010. They did, however, reform a bit later which is probably a good idea as their noisy take on shoegaze could work pretty well in todays market.
There's no doubt at all that they make a racket, Matt Bartram's voice is hiding beneath layers of distortion and producer Pat Collier has mixed the guitars so loud that the drums sound like someone hitting a thimble with a matchstick. But what the band lack in dynamics they make up for in a pleasant-to-listen-to take on the sounds of 1992. Bartram's songs aren't just noise bursts but actual considered melodies which lurk beneath layers of distortion. 'God Let Me Down' has driving bass and distortion in droves but somewhere beneath it all is a song with real emotional depth.
In fact Air Formation are better when they strip back the noise. Though the A Side is perma sludge, over on Side B they start to pick away at their sound letting some much needed space and light through particularly on closer 'Hearing Echoes'. Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing so giving the wall of noise a rest for a bit pays dividends.
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