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Sunday, May 1, 2011

And So I Watch You From Afar - Gangs (2011) (AWESOME !!!)

Genre : Post-rock, Northern Ireland

Tracklist :

02. Gang (starting never stopping)
03. Search:Party:Animal
04. 7 Billion People all Alive at Once
05. Think:Breathe:Destroy
06. Homes - Ghost Parlor KA -6 to…
07. Homes - …Samara to Belfast
08. Lifeproof

This self made instrumental juggernaut have been razing Belfast, Northern Ireland to the ground with their remarkable live performance which have been described by the press as stunning and unmissable and for which they achieved gig of the month from NME. After selling out of their much anticipated debut EP in just 6 weeks the mammoth mind melting machine that is And So I Watch You From Afar have been tipped by all the Irish and Northern Irish press, had high praise from Kerrang! and become a firm favourite on BBC Radio 1 receiving nationwide airplay on the Huw Stephens show and having recorded a live session for Radio 1.

Gangs contains all the elements which made their self-titled debut album such an enthralling listen. Every one of the eight songs is arranged in an incredibly compelling manner, fusing together numerous ideas and rhythm changes to create 44 minutes of unpredictable discord, but at no point does the album feel disjointed or patched together. The intricacies of the four musicians on the album ensure that it has an incredibly solid foundation from which to build –and build they do. As the many who’ve seen this band on their extensive tours over the past 18 months can testify, ASIWYFA are masters of building their songs to a frenzied climax. Like a hand-grenade, you don’t know exactly when it’s going to go off, just that it will.

The record’s breakneck symphonies come at you at 100mph, particularly album-opener ‘BEAUTIFULUNIVERSEMASTERCHAMPION’ and ‘Search:Party:Animal’ (the song that made BBC jock Zane Lowe have an on-air conniption fit a few weeks ago). There is also a more delicate touch when needed, with ’7 Billion People All Alive At Once’ being a good companion piece to the first album’s ‘The Voiceless’. Towards the end of the album, two of the tracks are coupled together under a collective banner ‘Homes’. ‘Ghost Parlor KA-6 to Samara to Belfast’ are the band’s attempt, according to guitarist Rory Friers, to define musically the journey, both physically and psychologically, they’ve been on over the course of the past year and change.

One of the major benefits of being an instrumental group has always been the ability to throw the standard verse-chorus-verse structure out the window and take the song where it wants to go, instead of where convention says it should. If there’s one thing ASIWYFA aren’t, it’s conventional. With Gangs, they’ve written an album which is both an incredible musical statement and also enduringly listenable. Turns out Zane Lowe was right about something after all. (source :

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