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AKIRA – Patriot (Orison)

Posted: April 30th, 2006, by Andrew Bryers

It starts with a frail wispy a capella melody: “There’s a bug in my head/And it’s making me dead”.

“Ah!” thinks the listener. “This will be whimsical indie.”

But just as he reaches for his slippers and viola, the poor defenceless tune is jumped by savage feedback and pounding drums swathing it in sheets of noise. Then, it breaks down into a kind of deranged solo guitar sea shanty bit backed with eerie vocal harmonies, before morphing again into the kind of BIG ROCK RIFF that Faith No More used to carve out of solid granite. Finally the original melody resurfaces alongside an urgent hypnotic chant of “Blow yourself up/Set yourself free”, before the whole thing drowns in blissful screaming and noise.

Whimsical isn’t quite the word for it.

I like Akira a lot. They engage in a similar kind of noisemongering hi-jinks to the Test Icicles, but with a style and a way of mixing experimental structure and brutal noise with pure pop melodies that is all their own. They’re no one-trick pony either: the B-side “Atom” threads a yearning starry-eyed vocal through a junkyard of fractured cut-up guitars, ghostly squeals and other detritus that is somehow weirdly beautiful. And to show that they’re not studio-ridden boffins, there’s a bonus live track too. Nice one.


Andrew Bryers

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