As if the majesty of Clear Moon wasn’t enough to satisfy us Mount Eerie fans, Phil Eleverum has yet another new album due to drop in September. This excerpt suggests that it will bind the tranquility of Clear Moon with the ambient black metal leanings of Wind’s Poem, which all sounds quite promising doesn’t it?
AlunaGeorge’s association with TriAngle Records might at first seem misleading, as they’re really not what you would expect from the label known for unearthing talents like Balam Acab, oOoOO and How to Dress Well. All of those artists were trendsetters in what most people have now wisely decided to stop calling “witchhouse”, a haunting spectre of R’n’B distorted almost beyond recognition. Whilst this debut EP from British duo George Reid and Aluna Francis is at times equally spellbinding it is far more nostalgic than it is phantasmic, with an instantly familiar tone.
Those other acts seem to reach beyond the past, into another realm of music almost, albeit an impressively warm yet disturbing one. Whereas there’s no doubting that You Know How You Like It has one foot very firmly set in the world of slick late ’90s/early ’00s pop R’n’B, managing to re-invigorate the sound and make it feel fresh without resorting to any of those creepy filters.
The video for their 2009 single (re-worked here) ‘So Many Lemons’ could act as a manifesto for Volcano! What it might be lacking in production value is more than made up for with a bizarre premise and assault of surreal imagery which is likely to leave you thinking “I don’t know what the fuck is going on here, but I think I like it”. Well, that was my reaction at least; and it’s one which carries on throughout much of their third album Piñata.
Three in, they are still a little rough around the edges and, possibly as a result of that, they’ve never quite got the critical kudos which they deserve. With any luck now may be their time though because their mish-mashing of influences is very much in keeping with the current ADD state of music culture, and probably far more relevant than the critically creamed Indie With Pop Ambition records which have dominated praise in recent years. That’s why records like this ought to be discussed more: Volcano! are a band that are never likely to trouble the mainstream, but that’s perfect because that’s not what they exist for. As pointed out in the TLOBF review of their previous record Paperwork they are basically a post-punk band; there’s no doubting they know how to play, just not by the rules. The range of awkward time signatures and stylistic shifts on show here are testament to that experimental nature.