A horrible hack


Common Era

Year Released: 2011
Format: CD
Label: Kranky
Reviewed by Alex Nuttall on Feb 9, 2011
Beginning with feedback and a drum-machine rhythm you could be forgiven for thinking would lead directly into Love Will Tear Us Apart, Belong open their great new album as they mean to go on.

Fans of the last album, as I was, might be in for a bit of a surprise because it's a big departure from that almost-entirely ambient album of five years ago. Every one of these songs has vocals and melodies and all that other good stuff you'd associate with proper songs. Saying that, it's actually a similar sound underneath the processed drums and vocals, that sound being a slightly out of tune, static-filled radio picking up signals from outer space. Lots of feedback, reverb and layered vocals that run into one another bring to mind My Bloody Valentine or maybe Flying Saucer Attack, the synths and rhythms will remind you of The Cure or Joy Division.

If you like your vocalists to enunciate then this is definitely not the album for you. You can barely make out one word on the whole album. But if you're a fan of the shoegaze ghostly moan then you'll feel right at home here.

If there's one criticism it's that this album opens with its strongest track and never quite reaches those heights again, save perhaps for the track Keep Still which removes the drum-machines and floats along beautifully on a wave of reverb drenched guitars.

Definitely worth a listen.

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