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Q AND NOT U

Esben And The Witch

Wash The Sins Not Only The Face

Dispelling any burden of ‘the difficult second album’, Esben And The Witch have comprehensively transcended any such slump or curse with ‘Wash The Sins Not Only The Face’, a majestic, haunting and triumphant work that is not ‘difficult’ in the slightest.

Their second full-length brings to fruition concepts that glimmered on their first, 2011’s acclaimed ‘Violet Cries’, but there are no laurels being rested upon here. To make their second album, Esben And The Witch questioned, challenged and rewired their past to find the way to their future and have produced their first masterpiece.

To quote Daniel Copeman, “We had a clearer idea of what we wanted to achieve on this album, and how we could achieve it. We’re more focused, more confident.”

Their first album took them on the road, and the road took them all over the globe. It was on these journeys, during van-held conversations, that their second album began to take shape, the band happening upon an ancient Greek palindrome ‘Nipson anomēmata mē monan opsin’ which, when translated, gave ‘Wash The Sins Not Only The Face’ its title.

They wanted the album to unfurl like a journey, like a day, where opening songs are possessed of a brightness, an optimism that ebbs away over the record’s course. The radiant glide of opener ‘Iceland Spar’, gives way to the bleak lonesomeness of ‘Yellow Wood’, the moment where the sun sets, with closing track ‘Smashed To Pieces In The Still Of The Night’ ending proceedings at a peak of drama and intensity.

Previously, lyrics were written more collaboratively between the trio; this time Rachel assumed the sole responsibility herself, honing her words and stories. The lyrics are inspired by TS Eliot and Sylvia Plath, by the works of Vladimir Nabokov and Philip Pullman, Salvador Dali and the surrealist movement; that, and van conversations questioning what it would be like to meet your doppelganger thousands of miles from home.

The result is an album that finds new shades within the Esben palette, and when placed alongside ‘Violet Cries’, feels like a fuzzy image that’s pulled successfully into focus.

All of this makes you wonder where this road will take them next. More to the point, it makes you want to savour where Esben And The Witch are at now, because ‘Wash The Sins Not Only The Face’ is a sublime experience, an album whose mysteries and riddles will entrance.

TRACK LISTING

Iceland Spar
Slow Wave
When That Head Splits
Shimmering
Deathwaltz
Yellow Wood
Despair
Putting Down The Prey
The Fall Of Glorieta Mountain
Smashed To Pieces In The Still Of The Night

Sissy And The Blisters

Killing Time

    Sissy & The Blisters release their new double Aside single, ‘Killing Time’ on new label Not So Pretty.

    “The Vaccines, The Strokes and Interpol are contemporary references, but the roots of Sissy & The Blisters feel a lot deeper - taking in everything from Thee Headcoatees to The Standells. Fans of garage rock take note” - Independent

    “The sound of scurrilously reinvented garage pop falling time in a massive egg timer” - Steve Lamacq, 6Music

    “A riot of doom-laden garage rock” - Sunday Times Culture

    Yo La Tengo

    I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass - 120g Vinyl Pressing

      ‘I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass’ is the eleventh full-length album by Hobokonbased alternative indie band Yo La Tengo, originally released on September 12, 2006. It is their sixth album released on Matador.

      The title of the album is rumoured to be a (paraphrased) quote by NBA player Tim Thomas. Sitting on the bench together during a game, Thomas was caught on tape by the MSG Network in a profane exchange with another player: “Everyone in this organization is afraid of you, but I’m not, and I will beat your ass.”

      Popular Workshop

      We're Alive And We're Not Alone

      The band came together through a love of abrasive guitars and collapsing drums when pseudo-brothers Jake and Luke found Gypsy and forced him to 'sing whilst playing the guitar'. On record they create their own world of art-disco and discordant chaos inspired by and compared to a spazzed-out danced up Sonic Youth, Bloc Party, Shellac and Elastica. 'Three-pronged indie-pop masterminds. Sounds like Graham Coxon armed with fresh socks and power-tools' - NME.

      Yo La Tengo

      I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass

        Once again moving the bar for 'what can be done in just one record', no two songs sound the same. There's everything from epic soundscapes to jaunty popsongs, to gorgeous love songs with a few rock'n'roll numbers thrown in. All delivered with humour, a smattering of falsetto and a huge dose of that unique Yo La Tengo charm.

        Mclusky

        The Difference Between Me And You Is That I'm Not On Fire

          New drummer, new album, new single, new tour, Mclusky are back and primed to release the follow-up album to 2002's excellent "Mclusky Do Dallas". Life between these two records has seen a world outside of Cardiff fully embrace them. Amongst other things, they've toured virtually everywhere, broken many a guitar, survived a near fatal tour bus smash and seen their original drummer depart the band on their way. Not known for being slouches, they also released two interim EP's last year, from which, only the track "1956 And All That" has made it on to this album. Like its predecessor, this was recorded by Steve Albini in his studio outside Chicago but this time Bob Weston of Shellac fame has got in on the action (playing trumpet on "Forget About Him I'm Mint").

          Q And Not U

          On Play Patterns

            First release from these emo / art rockers, since their "No Kill No Beep Beep" album in 2000. Two new tracks, produced by Ian Mackaye.


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