Thing of the Day 

Rome Pays Off, Alright The Captain

March 9th 2011

Rome Pays Off coverROME PAYS OFF – There’s no Simple Explanation (Trace) - Thought this sounded like Rothko, just threw it on without looking who it was, like to do it that away, avoid any preconceived ideas, just let the music flow, and this does flow… Now this really does sound like Rothko, wonder if these people have heard any Rothko? They have that same gentle soothing flow, that same sense of movement, Very very relaxed, less is more, minimal post rock instrumentals, notes coaxed out of a resonanting electric bass guitar while uncluttered soundscapes gently glow in the wash underneath. More of those familiar sonic explorations, all beautifully ethereal and delicately full bodied.

  “...The founder members of seminal ambient drone collective Rothko launch the debut release by their brand new duo Rome Pays Off”, it says here - so this is Mark Beazley and Crawford Blair recording together again since the last Rothko album back in 1999. Not sure about the press release claim about them “having inspired a generation with their unique triple bass guitar line up” but the cult London band did have a rather nice line in rolling post-minimal melodicism. Thing is, as soothing and relaxing as this is, Rothko were a bit of a one trick pony and these Eno flavoured, Slint-like ambient explorations are pretty much more of the same again… maybe a little less claustrophobic this time, maybe a little more space and time. All rather mellow and minimal and soothingly good if you’re in the right kind of headspace and you don’t need a change of gear or a shift in texture or dynamic. More of that dark red Rothko stuff then.      

They play a show at Café Oto, London, alongside Japser TX on March 11th and an opening event at Tokarska Gallery, Walthamstow, London on March 24th. The album is out on Trace Recordings on March 21st

Alright The CaptainALRIGHT THE CAPTAIN - Snib (Field) – Instrumental pieces of scuzzy math-grunge, Battles/Hella flavoured sounds and a decent set of tunes from a rather hard-working English three piece called Alright The Captain . Nothing anywhere near as complex as Hella or Battles; the East Midlands band are working on relatively simple musical equations and repetitions, and they do tend to keep it on the same level in terms of structure and texture all the way through so that when that bit of light and shade does come along - such as the restrained bit at the end Mega Drive that leads in to the momentary slow opening of Guilt, before the bounce and the boing and the bits of drill come back in, then those passages of light and shade are most welcome. London people (or those who got a copy of the Organ Radio 19 compilation album) might just remember the noise experiments and very live energy of a band called Three Ant Riot – throw in a bit of Primus, a touch of Sqaurepusher, some analogue fizz and you’ve got yourselves an album from an interesting dirty sounding mathy instrumental three piece, and an album that is worth checking out. They may need a little bit more variety in there over the full length of a rather samey ten track album, but it is a pretty likable sound… Nice bit of artwork too.

Snib came out this week (via Cargo distribution)

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