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Posted: August 12th, 2007, by Mandy Williams

As I opened the plain white cardboard sleeve, labelled with scrawled biro, that sat amongst a pile of other CDs bearing flashy artwork, I had absolutely no preconceptions. On hearing the first notes I was quite captivated.

High Vinyl are a band from Cambridge who formed in 2001 and have a few EPs under their belt. Their sound can best be described as indie instrumental. Guitar- and bass-driven resonance with a light yet insistent percussive touch, intermittent vocals, and assistance from flute and glockenspiel.

The first track ‘Predicted/ignored’ is pure instrumentation, starting slowly and building into controlled mania. Like Field Music meets Joy Division in a very mellow mode. The vocals kick in for ‘A Disappointing Cycle Ride in Romsey’, where they begin to sound a touch like The Longcut. The lyrics inhabit the solid bass sound without dominating proceedings.

With the next track it’s a return to emotional musicality. The flute and glockenspiel play over clever fretwork. ‘Moth Eaten’ has percussion-led, driving resonance. The singer’s muffled vocals slur, “They are hiding away in pitch black, I want them back.” At this point their style is somewhere between Pavement and an upbeat Zero Seven. Snarey, shuffling drums and delicate guitar lines populate ‘The Abbot Sway’, giving it a vibrato layered feel.

I’m not immediately drawn to the instrumental, but this piece of work flows really well and convinced me enough to play it repeatedly. Tracks from their last three EPs, including some of this work, is combined on their debut album Condor vs. Albatross. With Kelso on vocal, Nicos on drums, Auff on bass, Shpol on flute and Hotch on guitar, check them out. They are as interesting as their names sound.

High Vinyl

Mandy Williams


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