Monday, May 21, 2012

Review: Alt-J - An Awesome Wave

Following on from their entry in 'Introducing...', here's the Tone Deaf published album review of the artsy debut for UK purveyors of self-described ‘folk-step.’ 

Alt-J - An Awesome Wave (PIAS/Infectious, 2012)
If all you did was read about Leeds outfit Alt-J, you’d be forgiven for thinking they had long disappeared at the wrong end of pretentiousness. 

After all, their band-name is technically an unpronounceable symbol (∆), with a history involving hallucinogens, Fine Arts degrees and members named Gwilym. 

Work past the high-brow conceits (and their extraordinary origami packaging) however, and you’ll discover an act that isn’t too smart for their own good.

They mix a rhythmic approach to keys and guitar with textured vocals and claustrophobic beats to intoxicating effect on “
Tessellate;” while “Dissolve Me” possesses both brighter strides as well as torchlight intimacy, without forgetting the hooks. Even the penultimate track, “Bloodfood” features a choir sidled alongside electronics. 

Following in the footsteps of other sophisticated English forebears, namely the tertiary favoured Foals and intellectual Wild Beasts, without mimicking them; Alt-J’s ideas turn out to be as captivating to the ear as they are to the intelligencia.
Breezeblocks by Pias France Fitzpleasure by alt-J

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