Now that our relaxing (not-at-all-relaxing) summer is out of the way and the Tidal Wave of Indifference is back into a more regular blogging cycle, we can now find a home for a few things we’ve been sent over the last few months that we haven’t quite found a home for.
In amongst the chaff that lands in our inbox, something that gets instantly marked as wheat is new material by a band we’ve covered before or a name we were at least familiar with, so that’s what we’re looking at here with a handful of new(ish) EP releases from acts that regular readers should be more than familiar with by now. But don’t worry, our eyes are still peeled for new stuff and we hope to bring you a stack of features as soon as we can pull the finger out and write them!
Edinburgh School for the Deaf have managed to survive not only shedding a couple of members, but also a Tidal Wave of Indifference gig where the capital’s finest noisy shoegazers treated a full house to a carcaphonous wall of noise.
New EP In Dreams Lie Guilt feels like a step forward with a foot still in the past. New versions of old songs Of Scottish Blood and Sympathies (radically different from the original but perhaps not as good) and Love is Terminal (vitriolic, better) sit alongside three new songs that mix up vocals from Grant Campbell and new singer Agnieszcka Gryczkowska. They’re a little less lo-fi than what’s on their album but maintain enough howling feedback and hissing aggression to ensure that School for the Deaf sound is present and correct.
Further survivors of a Tidal Wave gig come in the shape of Glasgow’s The New Fabian Society who promised new material imminently as they left the building for the night. True to their word, Exhibition of Hate follows Exhibition of Love, consisting of four further tracks of discordant anger.
A direct descendent of the first EP, it perhaps lacks its immediate impact and ‘whoa’ factor, but give it a few spins and you’ll realise that it’s every bit as good. This is a band maturing fast even if lines like The guy that you’re seeing is a cunt are clearing designed to shock. Our favourite band to emerge this year.
Human beatbox and guitar mangler Adam Stafford clearly likes to keep on his toes. From releasing his debut solo album a year ago, he’s played constantly, released a split 7″ on Gerry Loves and is now part of the Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo project. Whether the band will do anything more than the four track Welcome is unclear, but it’s an unexpected treat. Stafford takes a back seat, at least in the vocal sense and lets ‘D. King’ take the lead for some Scotified Americana, but the loops and distinct guitar sounds are a giveaway to his presence. It’s still a significant departure though.
Available on cassette, the EP is back with a four solo instrumental Stafford songs as a added incentive. We haven’t heard these yet but are salivating at the prospect.
Finalement, we have Warsaw-based classical artist Neil Milton who’s been quiet for a while. His new double EP Skies/Seas is out now on Valentine Records and it maintains his flawless record of making blissful ambient piano sounds.
Both sides are calm, relaxing and manage to capture the elemental feel of both the sea and sky. Milton is a fascinating artist and comfortably our favourite contemporary composer.