If you can tell anything about a band from its celebrity fans then Aereogramme are in real trouble. Lauded by many sections of the music press, name-dropped by everyone from Thursday to The Flaming Lips, I bet they were dead chuffed when one of their T-shirts appeared in a magazine on the chest of… Charlie Busted. Oh dear.
So are Aereogramme crap or does Mr Busted have an unexpected talent as a spotter of good music? All logic points to the former since otherwise Charlie would have left Busted ages ago…
In all seriousness, Aereogramme are far from crap. However, I must admit that this mini-album left me a tad disappointed given their reputation as the Radiohead of heavy metal (or something like that).
For a start, it ain’t metal. The guitars in opener Inkwell are heavy in a layered, jangly kind of way, but the shoe-gazing intensity in this and Dreams And Bridges is more closely related to the Oceansize-s of this world than Soil, say.
It’s not hard to draw comparisons with OK Computer-era Radiohead, though. Eleven-minute track The Unravelling, for instance, features complex rhythms, clanging percussion and meandering falsetto vocals, while ironically, the acoustic noodlings and shhhh-it’s-oh-so-quiet vibe of I Don’t Need Your Love speak volumes.
Perhaps the best song here is Aereogramme’s cover of Lightning Strikes The Postman, even if they do end up simply sounding like The Flaming Lips with their guitar amps turned up to 10. The album then finishes with Alternative Score, and it does exactly what it says on the tin, with five minutes of cinematic music taking in strings, church-y organs, plink-plonk piano and weird, horse galloping drums.
I listened to this album in the car and I don’t mind telling you that the soporific air created by The Unravelling, I Don’t Need Your Love and Alternative Score was almost responsible for one of those asleep-at-the-wheel type motorway accidents. Seclusion is certainly musically accomplished and leftfield but the question I keep coming back to is, is it interesting? I’ll tell you when I wake up…