Thursday, April 08, 2010

Love wars

We were talking to someone with a connection to our local music scene the other week, who reckoned - this may apply to other local scenes, we don't know, we've only ever been a part of one - that, from starting to make waves outside support slots with their mates, bands only really have an eighteen month period to make a proper national impact before it's too late and they end up swirling round the local circuit until deciding to go and do something less boring instead. (In our local music scene, this means joining a covers band. We work backwards.) It's a theory that's seen off any number of promising, hopeful, more than likely sallow cheeked local youths over the 00s.

Love Ends Disaster! were once on the very precipice of national acclaim. Bloc Party declared themselves fans, Colin Murray loved them and their Wiki is full of insane quotes from reliable sources: "Within the year this band will be massive. We've not been wrong before" (Rough Trade); "since Oasis' halcyon days not many artists can claim to have matched quantity with quality" (DiS); "If this isn’t their year then I’m a Chinaman" (Nottingham Rock City). Unfortunately, all these details are dated 2005-2007. Problems, chiefly with labels and finances, have prevented them from releasing anything off their own back since late '07 and last year they hit rock bottom when they were reduced to playing in front of less than twenty people at, to cap it all, a gig promoted by us. We genuinely tried to plug it to people and were met with confused looks from those who thought they'd long since split up. One of those people works for a label that put out one of their songs. Couple that with the general disgusted looks that now greet anyone foolish enough in 2010 to come forward with a sound that could be classified under "quite a bit post-punk".

Not the ideal circumstances, then, for an album to emerge. Nobody else seems to think so either, as they're having to sell City Of Glass themselves in limited numbers while they try and find an interested label, and while we hear rumours of some pretty large and on the face of it unlikely intrigued parties you wouldn't honestly fancy their chances once A&Rs, being what they are, spy the dates on those quotes. Which is a shame, as City Of Glass is a wonder in itself. Hell, we'd be willing to put it out ourselves. (DISCLAIMER: we are never, ever starting a label to put anything out)

Mention of Bloc Party up there: you know A Weekend In The City? You know how at first it seemed a natural, almost mature work, then the waves of overproduction, needless honesty and lyrical overwroughtness brought themselves to the fore (ah, the disdainful foie gras line, as we iconoclasts know it)? City Of Glass is what they should have done, with the added bonus that it won't be followed by pretending to be a dance outfit while forgetting you had a decent rhythm section (Jon Dix keeps that to his own ambient electronics side project Moscow Youth Cult) The family favourites from previous singles that have made the cut retain their knife edge wiry intensity, all Chameleons-meets-Cure staring into the new wave abyss with a wall of melodic noise backing them up. But that's not all they do, and it's most impressive how whether it be an ambient atmospheric sheen, spikiness underlaid and cut up with synthesised pulse, fuzzed out/washed out ethereality with pedals or in one case grandstanding piano ballad, it doesn't feel like it's executed for the sake of it. All these years and setbacks on they're still an eclectic, exciting band and we're glad they've stuck it out to create that elusive beast, a positive development on from the sound of 2005.

If you're near London NW6 on Friday night they play NoFiction's night at Power's on Kilburn High Road. It's free before 9, £2 thereafter, and you can get an early night if you so wish as they're supporting a band the blurb compares to The Enemy.

1 comment:

Matthew Oakes said...

Hey Simon,

Thanks for those lovely words and the support.

The album is going to get a wider release through a number of indie's in a couple of months time (including Rough Trade among others). We'll have a date soon, just working on putting all the plans in place. We're also about to start recording a follow up... Which will be even better. Trying to get together a horn section for it.

Cheers again,

Matt LED!