Shriekback – Some Kinds Of Light (reviewed by Marcus Kittridge)

This album opens with a track that’s driven along by pounding tribal drums offering a feel of marching to an unknown destination and an unknown conflict. A new sense of urgency is evident as a vocal line spits out a message that feels like it can no longer be suppressed.

These guys have clearly been thinking a lot about the state of the world they find themselves part of and there is a tangible sense of unease with our current human trajectory. The lyrics reference modern sciences, environment, capitalism and political confusion and alienation.

‘Weatherman’ pulls together echoes of their earlier output and mixes them with the ghosts of Gang of Four, The The, A Certain Ratio and Talking Heads. This is a heady cocktail of post punk audio references.

Big guitars, draw-bar organs and overdriven percussion are used throughout the work to good effect and make me want to see live versions of these songs as soon as is possible.

‘The Fire Has Brought Us Together’ has a beautiful light percussive touch that gives the rest of the elements of this piece much needed room to breathe. It carries the melody and lyric along. It’s one of those tracks where the outro should never be allowed to end.

The Elated World uses panning techniques to widen the soundscape to the outer limits and brings a feeling of big open spaces to the listener. It really is one of those tracks that washes over you and takes you on a special journey.

The way this album has been curated really does feel like a journey through very recent history. After the significant darkness and anger in the first half it resolves itself in a sense of calm and optimism that feels that there may be some hope for humanity tantalisingly beyond a confused and anxious present and a worrisome horizon.

Some initial angst but ultimately uplifting.

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