Sunday, 5 January 2014

1877 - There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads: He Must Be Destroyed

EP review by

This ridiculously but brilliantly titled EP comes to us courtesy of Aylesbury quartet 1877, a band who've been together for the best part of a decade but are new to our ears. Off the back of these four songs it sounds like we may have been missing out. 'There Is A Policeman...' has the confidence and assured feel of a group who've been making music for long enough to know what they do best, but also a freshness and vitality that you may expect from hungry newcomers. Their description of being an "electronic rock band" is a little vague but correct nonetheless. We'd be more inclined to throw the labels "krautrock" and 'post-punk" at them, for throughout this record they use repetitive, motorik beats and guitars and synths in equal measure, creating a hypnotic set that variously recalls Joy Division, Neu!, Echo & The Bunnymen and also some more modern acts like Interpol back when they first emerged, or ace Danish shoegazers Silver 6.

They plough straight into a kraut groove on 'We Are Sinister', a song that also boasts some nice use of what sounds like vintage analogue equipment. The build-up is long but quite special, with vocals only entering the fray at almost the three-minute mark, over halfway through. It's vintage sounds (perhaps borrowed from Suicide or Kraftwerk) that lead us into 'State Trooper', an almost unrecognisable Bruce Springsteen cover; it's later in this track that the references of Interpol and Silver 6 make themselves known. Again the magic lies in the repetitive, ticking beat and the monotonous delivery. After the non-stop onslaught of the opening pair, 'And Now, We Rest' couldn't be better named, and it lives up to its title by giving us a couple of minutes of relaxed, metallic guitar before dropping in a bigger beat that anchors the song at a slower pace, even as the vocals and electronics allow it to gradually swell into something more substantial. It would be wrong to omit the word "atmosphere" when describing this EP, and that goes for each and every track here. After the more yearning 'And Now, We Rest' comes another change of vibe in 'Innovations' which at first appears to be little more than an ambient number, although it ends up being perhaps the most, well, innovative of the four songs here, making use of more experimental electronic sounds. All in all, you'd have to say that this latest release from 1877 is a bit special.

1877's website

Stream the EP in full

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