One of the Constellation label’s greatest early signings, Fly Pan Am disbanded in the mid-Noughties following a series of acclaimed, enjoyably messy post-rock albums. Reuniting a couple of years back, the Montreal band have effortlessly slipped back into their previous impressive form, with new album C’est Ça sounding like they’ve never been away.
Vinyl LP £18.99 CST147LP
180g vinyl LP on Constellation. Includes art print poster.
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CD £11.99 CST147CD
CD on Constellation.
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Most artists who claim they’re inspired by My Bloody Valentine just own a lot of guitar pedals. Obviously that band will be remembered for the sheer density of their noise, but the thing that gets forgotten is the blissful discord at the heart of their music. The clashing guitars sound plain weird, and in less tactful hands, could even be unpleasant. Constellation’s Fly Pan Am are one of the few bands who’ve taken the responsibility of being influenced by My Bloody Valentine seriously, and on their comeback album ‘C’est show that people shouldn’t be so afraid of making that joyful noise.
Noise is really the best word for it. There’s something wonderfully messy about everything, aided by production that makes everything oddly clear. You know when your parents would make you clean your bedroom even though you knew where everything in it was? ‘C’est ça’ is that bedroom, all chaotic but completely under the bands’ control.
It darts around from moment to moment, ambient music collides with shoegaze and post-rock with hardcore. Wistful singing is accompanied by death metal screams, and the drumming conjures the most precise maelstrom imaginable. Just listen to ‘Each Ether’ which sees drummer and guitarist in a furious back and forth, or the noisy free improvisation on the intriguingly named ‘Alienage Syntropy’.
It all climaxes with ‘Shattered Dreams’ which finds euphoria where it shouldn’t be, the way My Bloody Valentine have long mastered. But the song suddenly stops mid way through, before slowly (oh so slowly) working up the confidence for a victory lap. A much deserved one too.
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