Keep It Quiet / Glide On By reviewed in Louder Than War:
“…a little like a street glam swaggering Bob Dylan on the mighty fine Keep It Quiet. Glide On By, their snappy second contribution, made me think of Cockney Rebel, which is pretty good going by my reckoning. All of which marks them out as an act to keep a firm eye on.”
Read the whole piece (on The Eighth Wave Big Stir Singles compilation CD) here
Radio Safe / No Kicks single review Smelly Flowerpot blog:
“There’s a certain irony in the new release from The Speed of Sound, another band that have been quietly releasing (as in ignored by mainstream radio?) for many years. The irony being that lead track ‘Radio Safe’, a jibe at the dull playlisted banality of commercial radio, is one of the most accessible and catchy records they’ve released. For a band based in the North West of England, there’s always been a touch of US Punk/New Wave about them, especially in the vocal delivery of John Armstrong, which falls somewhere between Joey Ramone and Lou Reed. Despite being acoustically driven, it bursts out the speakers and its barbs against not just radio, but the large media organisations that feed them, hit the spot. ‘No Kicks’ is equally vital, an energetic romp with the lyrics sung by Ann-Marie Crowley bemoaning a lack of action that leads to a night of boredom. Cracking stuff.”
Read it here
Radio Safe / No Kicks single review Rock At Night:
Mancunian band The Speed of Sound, famous for their retro 60s mod sound, released two singles on “lucky” Friday the 13th. I have to say “lucky” because these two songs really perked up my Friday! Staying true to their roots, this socially conscious band tackles culture, corporatism, and mainstream media with their two new singles “Radio Safe” and “No Kicks”.
“Radio Safe” kicks off with a catchy guitar riff, rhythmic clapping, and a snappy 60s drum beat. John Armstrong immediately points to Universal, Sony, and Warner’s affinity toward bland, tepid, music that is churned out for the sake of money. Radio stations play “radio safe, radio friendly” as commodities as the song begs, “We are not artists!” The catchy chorus features great harmonies between Ann-Marie Crowley and Armstrong, as they sing, “This is not radio safe, this is not radio friendly, this is not radio repeat, this is not radio boredom (radio boredom) radio boredom.”
What I always love about The Speed of Sound is their biting messages are almost hidden in the catchy tunes, as this toe-tapping melody will keep your ears buzzing.
“No Kicks” begins with Crowley’s Debbie-Harry-ish voice describing how she’s stuck in the house, waiting for that someone to call, saying “If you are not here, I can’t get no kicks.” Listening to the lyrics makes me think of all the mundane boredom we’ve been suffering through this pandemic. As one listens, the meaning gets deeper, as it appears the person is waiting, being taken for granted, and strung along emotionally. The upbeat song is catchy and the chorus is lush, with its nod to 80’s New Wave (think B52s).
You can find it here
Rock At Night Magazine. Print edition. Fall 2020.
“Of all the angles, colours, shades, clouts clangs and dances that have given life to Manchester music since the advent of punk, none have felt or tasted quite the same as The Speed Of Sound. With a history over 30 years deep and a smattering of musicians adding up to – and beyond – 18, Speed Of Sound have remained a vibrant scream from the Manchester shadows.
It HAS to be a scream, too, at times literally so, for this perennial Manchester outsider band. Now deep into middle age, the lovely intelligent and softly spoken people who take refuge within this band explode into life when their feet hit the stage.
I recall a gig three years ago at Manchester’s funky-if-not-downbeat Thirsty Scholar. Sitting chatting within the wicker-lined interior, we chatted as they unpacked their gear, carefully lying their guitars to rest before studiously replying to my measured questions.
As the set began, they instantly transformed into some kind of weird raging torrent. John Armstrong slashing an arm viciously across his guitar while Ann-Marie Crowley vocals howled as an untamed banshee. I swear that a gaggle of attendees, seasoned punks to man and woman took two steps back in disbelief. In that modest arena, it became one of the most spectacular gigs I had witnessed for decades.
Around that time, I received a copy of their sumptuous double album, Everything Changes. It proved to be a gorgeous product, this, especially in vinyl format, where the main affair was accompanied by an additional 10 song CD.Essentially therefore, that rare beast, the ‘double album’ and a most intriguing one at that. Fear not, this is no Frampton Comes Alive where the entire career hinges on a gimmick-laden, video friendly head bug of a song. Although bugs do abound and kind of twist your brain with repeated plays, offering visions of, I guess, Whalley Range or thereabouts.
The beautiful cover features four photographic tints of what looks like a Manchester park and a stunning marble statue on the reverse. There is more: A lyric-heavy inner-sleeve neatly overlays undoctored images of the band who also appear cartoon-esque on a separate sheet and – more, more again – a neat A4 glossy poster insert. I do apologise if this initial talk of packaging might seem rather crass, as I mean no disrespect. What is important here is that the parade of artwork and extraordinary care built into it reflects the equal care embedded in the music.
What I particularly adored about this album is the unlikely relationship between the languid New York style vocals of songwriter John. Armstrong and the infectious evocative bass of Kevin Roache. It is a marriage that governs the album recalling – for me at least – a rather bizarre cocktail of Television / The Only Ones, Henry Crow and, when Ann-Marie Crowley’s vocals kick in, touches of ‘Meet On The Ledge’ circa Fairport. The comparisons might seem lazy, but this is precisely where the album sits…oh, perhaps with elements of off-kilter John Marty. Maybe…maybe, definitely.
In 2018, there followed a further extraordinary slap of vinyl. A single this time, in support of Manchester Women’s Aid. A double-A-side of two songs “I’m Real” and ” I Don’t Want Your Attentions”, both ferociously exploding with feministic intent… and both written by John Armstrong. While the song titles may seem self explanatory, the jagged edges of the lyric certainly snagged on unexpected territory. “I won’t put up with this anymore you’ve pushed me near the edge, every time I see you I want to get away, I just wish you were dead.”
John Armstrong is an enigma; Perhaps Manchester’s greatest, squealing form under the floorboards. Interviewing him is, itself, a curiously beguiling task.
I ask him about his writing… he replies: “There’s a literary approach in my writing, partly because of writing about actual things rather than generic stuff. There are enough people writing predictable pop songs already. We need more songs about a ship full of toxic waste or a mannequin tied to a pub roof or the ring road in Rio de Janeiro. I am trying to find something that interests me. Something that won’t be boring in ten years”. As carefully posed question…are Speed Of Sound comfortable with being tagged ‘outsiders’? “Very much Outsiders.” He replies. “We are not interested in the music business, labels fashions and trends and didn’t start making music to end up of the cover of Smash Hits or being a major label signing. All this people who have played with The Speed Of Sound over the decades make music because this is what they do. The industry is about ‘product’. The sound, the textures is irrelevant to record companies. Whereas we are simply doing it for the music which is the other way around to the mainstream. Doing it our way gives us a level of artistic control that is impossible in the major label world. I am happy with that.”
A new album edges towards completion. Themes will edge towards sci-fi in a typically off-kilter manner. Shots will emerge before the album release, in Spring 2021, in the form of planned singles. But of course, this being 2020, nothing is ever going to be nailed onto anything. This is the uncertain world in which we live.
Bu Speed Of Sound remain elegantly adrift, from anything and everything.”
“…creating socially conscious music with a 60’s/Britpop/New-Wave flare…ad always The Speed Of Sound keep it real…” Rock At Night, read the whole thing here
“…combining psychedelic folk-rock with a spiky angularity informed by the post-punk era…” Bliss/Aquamarine reviewing Big Stir Records ‘The 5th Wave’ compilation CD
Glide On By: reviewed in Jammerzine: “We have a sneak-peek of things to come; and those things are original. The style and sound are quirky and original in that way that is The Speed Of Sound; yet there is something more here. There is that feeling of coasting and freefall within the music trapped inside the lyrics. This is that new inner dystopia found in us all.” find the whole piece here.
30th Anniversary album review: Bliss/Aquamarine
“…combines the aggression of punk with post-punk drama and angularity, …balances spooky gothic tendencies with off-centre psych-pop, …an inventive slice of dark-edged surreal psychedelia, …a snarly blast of 60s-style garage rock.”
you can find the link to Bliss/Aquamarine here
The 30th Anniversary Scoop CD is available for purchase from the Speed of Sound Website.
The two opening tracks for The Speed Of Sound’s 30th Anniversary collection, The Byrds’ “I See You”and “Seen It All Before,” were previously released as a Big Stir Weekly Digital Single, and you can read our review of those songs here.
What makes the songs on The Speed Of Sound’s 30th Anniversary collection distinctive is that along with the big, bold, twangy and crackling pop sound, there are also a few surprises…some floating, airy psychedelia on “Nightmare,” for starters, and an overall tongue-in-cheek approach to the lyrics in songs like “I Don’t Want Your Attentions” and “I’m Real.” There’s also a nice contrast in styles between the lead vocals of John Armstrong and Ann Marie Crowley.
“I Don’t Want Your Attentions” is a fun, carefree romp through an all-too-common societal foible…the unrequited office romance. Ann Marie blithely and hilariously tosses off the line “Just because you pay my wages, doesn’t mean you can put your hand inside my clothes,” right before a nice, fuzzed-out guitar solo. It’s a serious subject, but our protagonist’s contempt for her clueless wannabe paramour lifts it into the realm of biting satire.
Ann Marie also handles the lead vocals on “I’m Real,” proclaiming “I ain’t no doll, baby I’m real”…it’s a cry for emancipation from objectification, of women as “a walking clothes hanger.”
“Shut All The Clubs” goes for maximum jangle, big drums, and a sound reminiscent of a revved-up Dire Straits.
“Love” retains the overall guitar sound of the album in a slow track that’s rich with harmonies from John and Ann Marie…“Make me breathe, make me sigh, make me close my eyes…” This is where the strength of Speed Of Sound fully reveals itself. Separately, the primarily lead vocals from John and Ann Marie work well on their respective songs, but when their voices rise in harmony, there’s a special magic, an undeniable chemistry.
“Girl On The Roof” has more of the Dire Straits vibe, with some exceptional dynamics in John’s vocals…“She’s sittin’ on the ledge, she’s swingin’ her feet…right…now.” An especially cool distorted garage guitar solo hits at the 2:00 mark in a song that crackles with attitude and atmosphere.
“There’s No One There” (live) adds some Richard Thompson / Neil Young & Crazy Horse tension / release to the textures discussed above. It’s a solid, intriguing track.
“I Wanna Feel Good” ends the album on a high note…a glorious blast of the loud, chip-on-the-shoulder sneer of Lords of the Garage like The Seeds and The Sonics.
The album is a must-have for music lovers who don’t want the full story revealed in the first couple of tracks. This one will keep you guessing as John and Ann Marie don their various masks and run with scissors across their sonic landscape.
THE SPEED OF SOUND I See You/Seen It All Before (Big Stir Records Burbank LA California Single No.0049) There Once Was A Note
The Speed Of Sound’s “I See You / Seen It All Before” is Big Stir Records’ Digital Single No. 49, and it’s available for pre-order now (downloadable on Friday, October 25). This single was a true surprise…the shift of style and mood from the “I See You” to the flip side, “Seen It All Before” (Acoustic Version)” was dramatic.
“I See You” is a cover of The Byrds’ song from 1966’s “Fifth Dimension,” written by Roger McGuinn & David Crosby. You can hear the original on YouTube for comparison. The Speed Of Sound’s take is largely faithful to the original, adding a little extra British Invasion “oomph” a la The Yardbirds & The Animals (think “Monterey”), while dialing back a bit of the treble guitars on the original, and foregoing the heavily raga-influenced solo for something a bit more fluid, while still extremely psychedelic.
“Seen It All Before (Acoustic Version)” is a true melange of many wonders…touches of early Bowie / Mott with a slick Bob Dylan weary sneer added for good measure. There’s a cool “Spaghetti Western” feel here, a slight feel of unseen menace in the air, supremely atmospheric. Ann Marie Crowley adds an ethereal counterpoint to John Armstrong’s lead vocals, and the Spanish guitar-flavored solos bolster the atmosphere. Moody and intense, yet light and floating at the same time. Is that even possible? Why yes…it is. Just listen. (you can read the whole piece here
THE SPEED OF SOUND I’m Real 7″/download (Be Records Manchester) Bliss/Aquamarine
The Speed Of Sound have a long history in the UK underground. Formed in 1989 under the name The Blood Oranges, they were immersed in the cassette culture and appeared on tapes as diverse as the indie pop compilation You Can’t Be Loved For Ever No.2 released by Philip Ball of The Rileys and Feverview to accompany his fanzine, and a compilation from the more experimental/eclectic Hypertonia World Enterprises run by Jan R Brunn. Speed Of Sound have retained their firmly independent ethos under their current guise, stating that they “exist in spite of the Music Industry, rather than because of it and speak from outside its grasping tentacles”. Their latest release is in aid of the Pankhurst Trust, celebrating 100 years since UK women gained the vote, and raising awareness of issues that still have the potential to affect women today. I’m Real is told from the perspective of a woman who has ended up in an unhealthy relationship leaving her stifled and controlled, while I Don’t Want your Attentions addresses workplace sexual harassment. The single is limited to 250 hand-numbered copies, with a label design that cleverly combines the mod target with the purple, green and white suffragette sash. I’m Real is spiky 1980’s indie pop with a clanging guitar sound and an uncompromising punk attitude. I Don’t Want Your Attentions also draws from the punker end of 1980’s indie pop, balancing strong melody with forceful noise, the piece is however just as much informed by hard-edged 1960’s mod and also includes an intricate rock guitar solo, showing that this band have no intention of buying into restrictive rules about genre boundaries.
You can find the piece here
New single – I’m Real/I Don’t Want Your Attention (Bandcamp) Louder Than War
Manchester’s The Speed of Sound have been crafting their genre-melting underground alternative sound (New Wave post-punk blood powered by the heartbeat of 60’s influences) for nearly thirty years now, a time-frame which may have seen progression for women but, as they themselves seek to address with this latest release, we have a long way to go. Their new double A-side single “I’m Real/I Don’t Want Your Attention,” has been created to mark the 100th anniversary of suffrage for women, whilst addressing the issues facing women in the modern world. Recorded at the VoltaLab in Rochdale (previously The Cargo, a legendary studio with an impressive post-punk history), the video was filmed in the parlour of Emmeline Pankhurst’s old home, now the Pankhurst Centre -all profits from this release also go to the Pankhurst Centre and Manchester Womens’ Aid – and have drawn heavy influence from sources like Charlotte Newsom’s “Women Like You,” exhibition (pictured).) As ever, John Armstrong has also shown that he really knows how to craft an ear-grabbing melody with both of these songs. “I Don’t Want Your Attention,” sees vocalist Anne-Marie Crowley singing in a fashion both despondent and defiant about sexual harassment in the workplace, whereas “I’m Real” deals with the brutal subject of a possessive relationship. The language used as Crowley tries to articulate all the doll-like things that she isn’t reinforces the problems of the traditionally feminine whilst kicking against them. Both songs have a jangly indie feel which to a casual listener has a sense of optimism: the perfect hook to grab attention before pulling in the listener with the hard-hitting issues at hand. Speed of Sound clearly want us to reconsider the wider representations of women – in history, in social politics, in modern homes and workplaces, and yes, with the music industry – in a fashion that is accessible and far-reaching. Their long-term DIY spirit is full of anti-conventions and the way industry women should be portrayed is another part of that. The objectification of women in popular music, they claim, is part of the problem. “I Don’t Want Your Attention” and “I’m Real,” are both excellent, melodic indie records. But it is the bold and defiant way that they tackle what the band see as a lack of social progression which means everyone really ought to sit up and take notice of what The Speed of Sound have to say.
The full article is here
Live Review – Sounds Magazine
The Speed of Sound, one of the most exciting, long-lasting and innovative bands on the Manchester underground, open the night with a storming set. They begin with their signature tune “Shut All The Clubs”, lead single from their acclaimed 2016 album release “Everything Changes”, and a hit with listeners of Manchester and Salford’s numerous underground radio shows. With its lyrics’ biting attack on gentrification and the authorities’ shameless erosion of subcultural lifestyles, it is a real anthem for the culturally oppressed in this day and age. Lead singer and guitarist John Armstrong’s distinctive vocal delivery and guitar style get the music off to a swinging start, complimented by the infectious bass grooves of bassist Kevin Roache, percussion from co-vocalist Ann-Marie Crowley and drum rhythms from Anthony Edwards, standing in tonight for regular drummer Paul Worthington during his break from the band.
The band follow with a selection of tunes from the aforementioned album, Armstrong and Crowley swapping vocal duties between songs. Armstrong is a powerful frontman, his modest but lively showmanship and Bryan Ferry-esque vocal style guiding the band smoothly through a set that never becomes dull or repetitive. Their music shows distinctive traces of New York art rock and No Wave, often verging on the experimental and psychedelic while never losing its melody or infectious catchiness. Ann-Marie Crowley, herself an understated heroine of the Manchester underground with her previous role as lead singer of Poppycock, is an artist you just cannot help but respect, her vocals on songs such as “The Moment Is Now” at times evocative of Nico with traces of Chrissie Hynde, her stage presence modest and unassuming yet powerful in its very humbleness. This band is about great art and infectious avant-garde pop without the ego or posturing that often comes with bands obsessed with hitting the big time. The band’s sound is very strong on both new and old songs, as well as the two cover versions, of The Flirtations’ “Nothing But A Heartache” and their lively cover of The Primitives’ “Crash”. Their set is brought to a close by a striking performance of their 1989 song “Glide on By”.
the article full article is here
Everything Changes review by Bliss/Aquamarine
“an exciting, energetic style and a strong DIY underground attitude, blending the more angular side of 1980s indie music and post-punk with aspects of psych and garage rock. Shut all the Clubs is spiky post-punk. Maid of the Grey is off-centre psych-pop with a raw, garagey sensibility and a catchy, tuneful chorus – really brilliant stuff. Little Miss Restless is an inventive take on 80s-ish indie pop, bringing in soaring flute which adds a dreamlike atmosphere partway between psychedelia and classical music. Always Seems to Fall is melancholic and tuneful indie pop offset by a raw, metallic guitar sound. Chalk Circle is intense, dark and on-edge, blending elements of post-punk, indie pop and vintage style rock. The Changes is a prime slice of underground rock, balancing spiky abrasiveness with a strong sense of melody. Limited to 350 hand numbered copies, this is a great album from a band I’m keen to hear more from.” Their website is here
Mick Middles wrote a huge Everything Changes review in Sounds Magazine
“…Simply put, the music flows and soaks with delightful effect. And boy does it! Effortlessly tune-heavy. The songs carry more melodic twists than I have encountered in many years. A band lying so beyond the weakening tentacles of record companies, able to produce quality music and present it as a beautiful artifact without the need to tap into hazardous investment. This is how you do it. A maturity within that seems to seep sweetly beyond he curt snap of musicianly ego. These are Autumnal strolls in Manchester park songs, spiced by that Television or Only Ones drawl. Hype is peeled away. The youthful illusion of stardom is not allowed to feature. There is an element, of the blissful existentialism of ageing. Of moving away from the pulse-beat, of drifting thoughtfully. This is the punk reflective. This is a valuable album for that, and more. Let the songs flow.”
Everything Changes album review by Aural Delights:
It is hard to find a neat little genre box to put this band into, which is always a good thing. The songs are lead by hooky guitar sounds which are both 60s & post-punk in their sound. John Armstrongs’ vocals have an early Zimmerman edge to them, the lyrics are both rich & complex, & Anne Marie’s vocals add a haunting cinematic feel to the songs. Kevin Roache, bass, & Paul Worthington, drums, provide a sympathetic and driving rhythm section. You’ll find a lot of good things here, & it’s great to hear Anne-Marie taking the lead role especially on the excellent “The Moment Is Now” which has a great pop feel & sounds like something Dusty Springfield would have sung in her pomp. The variety on this album is impressive, with nods to a Californian sound at times, epecially the occasional snippets of Stills/Young guitar breaks. This album has all of the elements of great Manchester pop as well, you will have to invest time in it, as it deserves to be listened to as a whole, Quality stuff!
Read their full piece on the current Manchester music scene here
New Untouchables –
This is pretty good value from the Manchester-based quartet comprised of John Armstrong, Ann-Marie Crowley, Kevin Roache and Paul Worthington. In essence, if you buy the vinyl you get a bonus cd which is an albums worth in itself. This is their debut LP and they have made a good job of it. With tracks like ‘Checkpoint Charlie’ and ‘Girl On The Roof’, Speed Of Sound definitely have their own ‘sound’ (if you’ll pardon the pun). It brings to mind a combination of Bob Dylan meets Velvet Undergound influences which is no bad thing. The album is out now on B E Records. read it here
Alan May – The Glory Boy Radio Show on 6 Towns Radio: “A superb album it should win awards”
Warren Peace internet DJ and presenter Maximum Rhythm & Booze “seriously tune heavy”
Lord Litter internet DJ, Berlin “an uncompromising link from the 1980’s underground to now, always independent thinking with a kiss my ass attitude”
Interview in Rock At Night:
Rock At Night: I was just dancing to the song “Karin B“. What was the impetus for this song?
JA: It is quite catchy, if a little strange – the idea had been floating around for quite a while; way back in 1988… there was a ship called Karin B, she was loaded with toxic waste and was repeatedly refused permission to dock at a series of European ports so had to stay at sea moving from harbour to harbour and being turned away at every one. The story reminded me of the legend of the Flying Dutchman – being doomed to roam the sea until redeemed by love – and it got filed away under ‘think about it later’. Twenty five years on, it bobbed up demanding attention. The themes of constancy and change echo through the whole album and is central to the band’s outlook on music in general. Evolution is a necessary part of life and only things that have stopped living don’t change. “The tide will change but she stays the same”. The “no one will ever find her unmarked grave” line is about the intentional sinking (sometimes with the crew) of ships laden with embarrassing cargo – the toxic waste trade of the 80’s involved a lot of disappearances… On another level it makes the listener look sideways at the song a bit, wondering if there has been a murder. So it’s a love song about loss and rejection but open to lots of different interpretations.
The whole piece is here
Review of Shut All The Clubs in Music Is My Radar:
Manchester Alt-Rock maestros The Speed of Sound with their striking new single released March 28th. Originally gigging around the late 80s and early 90s this Manchester act has sprung back to live in recent years and are certainly making up for lost time. Now back to the original male/female vocal arrangement, this foursome combine spikey guitars with perfectly executed vocal harmonies with this excellent track. 2016 looks set to bring many rewards with album plans and plenty of live dates, The Speed Of Sound showing the young kids how its done and succeeding!
Read it on their site here
Review of Shut All The Clubs in Starlight Music Chronicles
…I am immediately drawn to say that this has a Johnny Marr (The Smiths) vibe happening the instrumentation in this is carefully organised and I don’t know if Armstrong realises that he is giving off the Johnny Marr vibe in his vocal ability but it’s THERE! The lyrics re a feel-god vibe (similar to Marr) with a post-punk finesse. I had the pleasure of seeing Johnny in the Starlite Room In Edmonton in December 2014 and loved him! I feel that anyone that can pull off this vibe similarly (as The Speed Of Sound have done here) automatically has my attention and admiration… I would highly recommend this band to those wanting to listen to a true brit sound and to hear something new!
Read it on their site here
Interview from Rock At Night
Rock At Night: I was fortunate to hear the new single which is being released, I do have to say it is really catchy and has a definite 60’s vibe. Please tell me the story behind the song.
JA: Shut All The Clubs is the A-side of a traditional 7″ 45rpm single and the B-side still comes with it when it’s bought as a download. Its a song with a message. – There’s a lot of music venues, small to medium sized ones that are closing down, local town and city councils don’t seem to value them and these important cultural places are being bulldozed to make way for expensive flats and corporate spaces, offices and gyms and shop-chains. A single complaint about noise can cause a venue thats been there for decades to be closed down. That nearly happened to Night And Day in Manchester. The Star And Garter isn’t actually being knocked down, but it will be completely inaccessible for three years so can’t possibly survive, across two roads from there The Twisted Wheel club has been knocked down – for the second time. It’s everywhere else too, not just here, the whole thing is vandalism. The real cultural assets of cities aren’t valued by the people entrusted with them and they are all becoming sanitised and dull. In ten years time we will all be living in some sort of airport lounge. No independent traders, no culture, every city is slowly becoming the same and all the interesting things that make them great places to live and work and spend spare time are being lost. We’ve been playing the song live since April  and it always gets a good response.
Read it on their site here
Music vs The World wrote this:
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to hear a merger between Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones and Lou Reed?… The vocals are dark and melancholy – they have an intense quality that makes me stop everything I’m doing and just listen. The music surrounding the words pulls me along like a tide, making me drift away from reality without feeling that I have an option…
Read it on their site here
Mad Ferrit’s Music Blog reviewed The Speed Of Sound In A Blood Orange Sky:
The Speed Of Sound’s second album which was released in 2012. Both their albums are widely available on iTunes, spotify etc. The album has a quite modern folk rock feel with a definite dash of 80’s post punk/alt thrown in. Which is no surprise considering all the songs were written in that decade but sound fresh as ever. Vocally there’s a hint of Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, bit of Jagger, great sound. Musically the sound alternates between Rock, verging on heavy/psyche to alt/punk with some great instrumentation along the way. You’ve Got To Move Too starts the album off, zipping along with a jangly guitar sound and scatter gun drumming. ‘English Electric Lightning F6’ up next. Smart bit of bass at the beginning followed by a virtuoso guitar performance on this (almost) instrumental track. Stunning. No Kicks is another great track which will have you singing the chorus whether you want to or not. Track 4 There’s No One There has an edgier vocal and a puncher sound. A song of despair and hopelessness, superbly played, has a fantastic guitar solo over a rat-a-tat drum line. Really like this one. Temporary Fault is another with a puncher edge, hammer drums, angsty vocal and jittery guitars. Has the feel of losing it in bedsit land. Lyrics are insightful and desperate. A wonderfully gloomy atmosphere to this track, ‘Joy Division’ Like!! Next The Changed, more solid drumming and shimmering guitar alongside a fine vocal. Track 7 is Uhrwerk. It opens with a fine guitar solo and quickly turns into one of the best tracks on the album. Heavier, rocking sound, musical perfection with an instrumental section towards the end that will blow you away. 8 is Sit By The River and it sounds exactly like you are. An eighties indie feel, summery and upbeat. A foot tapping, head nodding sing a long. If you close your eyes you can almost feel the breeze washing over you. A nod towards environmental concerns on tracks 9 & 11, Torrey Canyon and Throw It Away, both tracks awesome with snippets of genius. I especially like the cool little guitar breaks on Torrey Canyon, reminds me of something, can’t think what, I like though. Sandwiched between these two is Intercept, 42 seconds of backwards magic! The final track and for my money the best is Overlooked, a superb opening sound, very cool, subtle, fuzzy guitars, tapping drum beat, lead breaks floating through the air and an understated vocal. Spoken word comes in quietly with the bass and other players mooching along, has an indie sound to this track that a lot of today’s new bands would kill for. Guitar is sublime, this has got to be a live favourite. These tracks have been around for a long time but that just adds to their quality. Can’t wait to hear the new stuff when it’s ready. So check this band out your wont be sorry.
Read it on their site here
Copyright © 1989-2020 The Speed Of Sound/John Armstrong