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Archive for May, 2006

OTTERLEY – EP One / Pyknic (both self-released)

Posted: May 2nd, 2006, by Marceline Smith

Otterley seem to have come straight out of the Postcard era back when guitars used to jangle and chime and boys were skinny and had indie fringes. Obviously I am all for this and Otterley’s two self-released EPs are something of a dream come true for indie nostalgics such as myself. They’re not content to merely hark back to the past though with electronic beats bubbling in and out of these songs. What really sets them apart and stops them from falling into the Postal Service indie/electronica cliche are Gerard’s angelic, yearning vocals (also to be heard in the similarly wonderful Findo Gask) which are unashamedly sung in his lovely Fife accent. When his voice catches on a phrase your heart does break.

From the jangliest guitars this side of Johnny Marr that end up twinkling and sighing (In Camera) through harder distorted electronics that soon tip back into Nintendo bip-bop (Sferics) to Kirsten’s almost too cute for words sassy almost-rapping (Idea Fixed) Otterley bring together the precociousness of early Aztec Camera, the lush oddness of Boards of Canada and the heartbreak of the Field Mice into something all their own. In fact, it’s Gregory’s Girl made into song.

But don’t just take my word for it – both these EPs are available for free download from their website. On you go.


QUACK QUACK – Mars/The Great Catsby 7" (Run of the Mill Records)

Posted: May 1st, 2006, by Dave Stockwell

A few short months since our review of Quack Quack’s debut mini-album/EP (hey, it’s five tracks and 25 minutes long. You call it what you want), and here comes two more songs on yet another excellent release on the consistently fine Run of the Mill Records label.

Seeing as this is a double-A side single, I whacked on the 45rpm “The Great Catsby” side. Initially propelled by a dinky casio keyboard drum machine and some wonderfully slinky percussion, this song is founded upon some real carney-sounding keyboards worthy of your favourite silent comedy stars falling about a screen at your local cinemahouse, playing one of those melodies that you swear you’ve heard before, but know you’ll never manage to get out of your head. From these beginnings, the introduction of some joyfully bouncy bass powers the song into full speed ahead with some fantastically sweet drummage action. Crammed full to the brim with joi de vivre and beautifully to the point, this track is a winner.

Flip the wax over and “Mars” plays at 33rpm. It also happens to be possibly the peachiest track I’ve heard yet from these cats. For some sections of this song erstwhile keyboardist Moz sticks down some keys to get some hot droning action and clambers behind his own kit for some dual-drum lovin’ on this one. Taking on a slightly darker and more percussive guise for this track suits Quack Quack well, as they take the extra time afforded by the 33rpm format to do a little more exploring of their textures and rhythms in between the sweetsweet interaction of keyboard and bass melodies and of course the hothot drums. Watching these fellas perform this sucker live in the flesh a couple of weeks ago was the highlight of my night, and I’d recommend the experience to anyone. Similarly, if you’ve any interest in some sublime instrumental music made by three fellas from Leeds, you need this slice of cheer-inducing genius.