Thing of the Day

Vasquez, Electric Assembly and...

total sacrilige December 9th 2010 

"Oh look mate, another bleedin’ Motorhead t-shirt - if they’d sold half as many records as t-shirts those bastards would be rich!” yelled a rather gnarly window cleaner waving a dirty rag at the charity shop window on Mare Street, Hackney. He looks a little like Fast Eddie, actually. “I bet you don’t even have a bleedin’ Motorhead record” he accuses. 

Never mind no window cleaning Mr Clark, let’s spray up a storm of fresh leaves and cook up a thing for today. Are you getting into this new format of Organ yet? Beautiful crisp winter’s day out there, watery sun and cold enough to freeze the paint in the can. Interesting times: internet wars, Hacktivists, Wikileaks, and interesting who you can bump into around here.  The other day it was the guitarist out of Franz Ferdinand in the local Lidl buying cheap beans, even cheaper guitar stands and the bongo drums that were the special offer of the week. Mr Franz Ferdinand Guitarist then threatened me with a new demo as we queued at the checkout. (This week’s Lidl Monday Madness special offer was cheap canvas and easels, and boy did the Hackney art vultures swoop down on that one, had to fight my way out with an armful of fresh white canvas and one of those 25p fake Snickers bars) - never mind your shopping trips I hear you yell, get on with the Thing Of The Day you say...  Aaah, a package from Cherryade records, with chocolate money, the best money of all... that’s not thing of the day though, chocolate coins can’t buy us, we’re very very picky about this thing of the day thing…

Hang on though, here's a couple of things we should have mentioned ages ago and failed, in the chaos and the gentrification and the spilt paint and the frozen soil, to do so… Couple of relatively new bands for you in the shape of VASQUEZ and ELECTRIC ASSEMBLY.

VasquezVASQUEZ are an “action-packed rock trio” from Edinburgh, they have a debut three track slice of debut single downloadable self released demo or whatever it is, when is a single a single and a demo a demo, so blurred these days. Vasquez are three people with three slices of meaty instrumental mathy flavoured post/prog rock tinged almost metal twitching and riffing that hints at lots of good things that allows us to namedrop bands like Hella, That Flipping Tank, a Scottish Don Caballero in a hurry to get somewhere – loads of energy, ambition and a band clearly bursting with ideas in there with their bleeps, their twists, their rolling guitars and their rather tasty anchoring bass lines holding it all together with such style… Like this lots. Now I’m the one in here who usually says something like, ah more billy no-mates instrumental post rock self indulgence, couldn’t they even find a singer? when I encounter these kind of instrumental post-rock flavoured bands. For once I’m not complaining - Vasquez are good. They’ve got energy, they’ve got colour, they’re not just another one of those bands happy to safely sound like their post-rock record collections… This is, as people up there in Scotland have been saying, exciting. Love the rush and rumble of this first track, the driving bass lines, the Hella energy and twitching, the electro bleeps and the ten seconds there that sounds like classic Emerson Lake and Palmer. Three energetically catchy math-tinged instrumentals that boldly declare Vasquez a band to go make the effort to check out.    

Electric AssemblyELECTRIC ASSEMBLY – Slow Exit (Dream Driven Recordings) - They have a very pure sound, a simple sound, an uncluttered unfussy sound, they do sound rather like an assembly of people just enjoying the simple act of making music that flows. Lo-fi and raw without every being intentionally so, nothing messy or unfocussed, fine sound actually - a simple case of plugging in and going with the effortless flowing inviting sound their instruments make with what seems like the most basic of electronic amplification, effects and such. A really basic sound that’s all the richer and rather more alive and inviting as a result of that basic uncluttered almost primitive feel they of them make together. The Electric Assembly sound is positively repetitive without ever being obviously so, simple patterns that gently weave themselves together, more a forward moving jam that most definitely has a purpose, a target, a space to head for, a form, a purpose… A Sonic Youth feel, Thurston Moore guitar textures that head in a Galaxie 500 direction, a melodious shoegazer early Ride flavoured set of slightly psychedelic creative values, a less complicated Spaceman 3 maybe.

Slow Exit comes as a limited edition of just one hundred hard copies, each one hand made - and nicely done (not some cheapskate falling apart glue on the kitchen table affair).

Electric Assembly are refreshing, a band alive and at one with their simple guitars, drums and unobtrusive hums, their slightly scratchy wind blowing through their sparse exposed wires, an easy confident expressive sound. Four out of the five tracks are slightly raw less-is-more instrumental (mostly instrumentals, voices can be heard in the glow now and again). Second track of five, Son of Summer, is a restrained song, a beautifully unassuming song, a relax song that’s rather at ease with itself.  Heading For A Fall in a mesmorising piece of minimal post-rock beauty, a very simple very quiet tune, a tune with a warm inviting radiant slow-moving glow, a euphoric simplicity, a delight…  Electric Assembly are indeed a band at ease with themselves, with their simple uncluttered sound, a knowing band in control of what they’re doing and where they’re going, a simple uncomplicated confident band that are just very easy to like, to go with, to flow with, an inviting clever band with a radiant five track EP.

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