31 (noisy) songs
I think APTBS’s weakness is composition. If I’m not mistaken, Skywave (Oliver Ackerman’s previous band) was disbanded in 2004. Since then (and possibly even before 2004) and until ‘06-’07, when the songs that would be comprising their 1st LP two years later first appeared, Oliver had plenty of time (what a messed up sentence I built here; anybody understood?). That album proved to be very successful and, as a matter of fact, successful enough to give us Greeks the opportunity to see the band live 3 times.
The next LP in ’09, perhaps not surprisingly, was a bit of a disappointment for me. It featured a few good songs, but what attracted my attention more was that, beyond the band’s misguided attempt to slick-ify its (inherently dirty) noise/surf/shoegaze cocktail (and with suspension of disbelief for the band’s motives behind this move, which may not have been commercial) , that record lacked the directness in the composition, or rather the gut instinct for a good melody, or even the thing they1 call “inspiration.”
3 years later, and Oliver is preoccupied touring, effect pedal making, facebooking and miniature model building (actually I have no idea what the fuck he’s doing besides the band and the pedals). And all of a sudden this video is released (why “all of a sudden”? could the video be released gradually?). And shortly after, the EP, but since I haven’t had the time to absorb it yet, I will refrain from expressing the fact that it’s kinda shit.
“So Far Away” is amazing, as you must have probably realized. It’s really loud and strong, it builds on the pop sensibilities of the band without taking away from the energy, it’s short and yet adventurous. And it’s one of those songs that Oliver composed with his gut. But have you noticed that the bridge2 is there merely for functionality? The whole of this song is like, what, a riff that is repeated 4 times to make a verse/chorus. The song needed something more, that’s a veritable truth. And a bridge is always a good solution. My problem is that… essentially that I saw through the trick and this kinda ruined it for me. And since I’m a bitter and cynical asshole, I thought I’d ruin it for you too. Welcome.
Anyway. “So Far Away” song: amazing. “Onwards to the Wall” EP: under inspection (do they mean “return to the wall of sound?”). Awaiting the next LP.
1 among them are those pretentious assholes writing at big publications like pitchfork, which I read from time to time because I’m a sucker.
2 that part of a song where, according to the pop songwriting tradition, the melody, and sometimes even the time signature, changes, and they stick it roughly in the middle or before the last chorus, mainly to suspend our eagerness to listen to the chorus, but also to conceal the fact that they had been busting our balls with the same fucking melody for 3-4 minutes. When the bridge is carefully composed, it works. When it’s not, … well it still works. Our attention is caught either way. Win-win.