Hold the Suspect - Are You Home Yet?
Once again, there's been too many cracking releases I've been asked to review recently and I've fallen behind. The first is this great wee EP from Edinburgh's Hold the Suspect. Comparisons with fellow Scots Biffy Clyro and The Xcerts are bound to be made based on the opening, title track which is punchy and laden with some seriously catchy riffs. It's the next two songs though, Dive Into The Sun and Glass Half Full, that jump out at you. While the first is a reminiscent of Transformers-era Linkin Park (my guilty pleasure), the latter starts off as a surprising, stunning ballad with friend-of-the-band Freya Binning's angelic backing vocals, before exploding into life. All this before the all-guns-blazing finale of Society. It's only a few quid, so get it bought!
The Paraffins - Snout To The Grindstone
Technically speaking, as this cracking, crazy album isn't released until Monday, this review isn't belated. But given the time it's taken me to write about it, it feels that way. The Paraffins (or Billy) hail from the 'remote Scottish outpost of Knockentiber', and Snout To The Grindstone is the first in what will hopefully be many albums. Opener Untitleable is a taster of what the album has in store: hypnotic rattling, tribal drumming, high pitched wails and warped growls.... all in just over a minute! The rest is a bit more structured, with layer upon layer of sounds (conventional or otherwise), built up like Talking Heads going off theirs! Standout tracks are Something Good and the frantic People Like You which invites comparisons with Punch & the Apostles. To be honest though, the cover art sums the album up better than I can. It'll mess with your mind. A quite remarkable, musical mind f**ck!
Call To Mind - EP
It's been 2 years since I first seen Inverness' Call To Mind at King Tuts (in their fetching white rainsuits) threatening to steal the show from the headline act Broken Records. Since then, the band have been busy recording their debut eponymous EP. Finally, the fruit of their labour was released back in March. Every bit as captivating as their live show, this EP is great! It 'calls to mind' the atmospheric soundscapes of Sigur Ros with a dark, moody, almost Joy Divisionesque feel to it. The opening and closing tracks, A9 and I Have A Photograph, are proof you don't have to be Icelandic to pull this sound off. I don't know who coined the phrase, but if this is 'Highland glacial pop', then this is it at its very best!