Friday 22 March 2013

PREMIERE: At The Heart Of It All - Cotard's EP

EP review by

Many cities in the UK become synonymous with certain types of music or certain ideals. Manchester for it's fusion of dance and indie as well as the lad bands that came thereafter, Glasgow for being the natural home of DIY indiepop, the south-west has always had a strong punk and hardcore scene. Bristol is known for being a melting-pot of styles, a city where genres are fused and new sounds forged. The 90s trip-hop scene that saw Massive Attack, Tricky and Portishead become household names, and the more recent years where labels like Invada have uncovered great new talents like Malachi. Formed in 2010, At The Heart Of It All have picked up the experimental baton and are running with it. This new EP contains just two tracks but clocks in at half an hour long. So you're expecting boring ambient nothingness, right? If so, you'd be wrong.

Yes these songs are ambient, the tempo is reasonably slow for the most part, yet this band are about as punk rock as anyone. Think knocking out two-minute, three-chord guitar songs is still punk? You're over 30 years late. 'Cotard's' mixes vocals samples with post-rock and grinding noise, creating a prowling monster of a song, and one that plays entirely by its own rules. Think Godspeed You! Black Emperor, think Swans, think PiL. These are titanic soundscapes that mechanically bore their way into your brain. Trying to innovate with music in this way can be a risky business; it's easy to end up with a total snooze-fest or a pile of unlistenable noise. Get it right and the results can be something genuinely new. The second track here, 'A Blank Canvas '3-PHASE' {Germination-Blooming-Chronic}' sounds like it could have come from 1970s Berlin; it's a welding together of noise, a patchwork of layered sound that cuts its way into your skull before dropping back and building towards an extended but imaginative crescendo of space-rock. This trio are doing Bristol's musical heritage proud.

At The Heart Of It All's website

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