With all the reincarnations of the ’80s guitar sound happening since the early 2000s, it was only time before no-wave got reinvented, and thank fuck it did. Glasgow has always been a somewhat overlooked hotbed of musical fertility, almost always eclipsed by cities south of the border — London, Manchester, Liverpool. But Glasgow has given us the Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream, Mogwai, Franz Ferdinand (and Belle and Sebastian if your taste falls on the quieter end of the indie/guitar-based spectrum). And now the city has spawned Park Attack. The members call their sound the new noise, and they clearly take their cues from no-wave pioneers Pere Ubu, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, and early Sonic Youth. It’s not a bad field to mine, and they do it with such audacity and ingenuity that it’s a fresh take on an old form. Half Past Human, their first full-length, is raw and sludgy, dark and dank, and buzzing and neurotic, all at the same time.
It’s is punk, but it’s not nostalgic or dated. The sound has a really sludgy anti-melodic Joy Division (especially the rhythm section), and the members don’t rely on guitar and vocals to carry the songs but on the electronic/synth/whatever lines to do the trick instead. So it’s an anything-but-conventional sound. Lorna Gilfedder’s drums are a revelation — thick, full-bodied, chugging, stomping, thudding, hypnotic. Add Tom Straughan’s and Jamie Grier’s synths/bass/oscillators to the mix and who needs a guitar and a voice to carry the melody? Still, it requires the listener to work to find the melody emanating from the noodling, crackling, whirring, whining noises. Rob Churm’s yelp-y vocals owe a debt to riot grrl phrasing and are almost un-human — they’ve most likely been fed through the same effects as the synth and bass lines.
Park Attack is Glasgow’s answer to Japanther — raw, experimental, and yet still totally within the bounds of killer punk rock. Now, there’s a double bill that could shatter some eardrums.
“Tongue ‘n’ Groove” MP3 (Right Click Save As)
“Delta Smelter” MP3 (Right Click Save As)Park Attack Records Web site