Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep: Strap The Button - "Going to Jib Choons (Choons for Going to Jib Like Innit)" (Good Name For A Race Horse Records)

Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Strap The Button - "Going to Jib Choons (Choons for Going to Jib Like Innit)" (Good Name For A Race Horse Records)

Strap The Button are a Welsh six-piece that operate in the same stratosphere as Hawkwind and "Set The Controls For The Sun" era Pink Floyd. Signed up by the independent Good Name For A Race Horse record label, these space-rockers, who are all barely out of their teens, have been known to play 25 minute noise sets using just about any instrument they can get their hands on. They are also fond of strange album titles such as their previous effort "What Kind Of Rat Bastard Psychotic Would Play That Song Now At This Moment" shows. They have once been ,quite hilariously, described as sounding like "Animal Collective backing Tony Hadley as he undergoes a nervous breakdown".

"Going To Jib Choons..." continues the strange album title theme, and only enhances the image of this band as space-rockers. It features 8 long tracks interspersed with 8 sound collages, that actually work quite well in controlling the flow of the album. Titles such as "Machines" and "Electroacoustic Experiment" give you an idea of what is going on in the shorter pieces.

Opening track, "GNFaR CD001" starts with a repetitive guitar riff, with the band slowly building up, creating a dense and hypnotic sound. The track takes off with this spell-binding build up and then unleashes into a furious jam around the 3-minute mark.

After the short "Machines", "Casualty Of The Remesis Trilogy" kicks off with a Godspeed You Black Emperor type build up and excellent use of viola. The guitars here sound quite mysterious and the build up is very tense. However, the band unleash again, much like the album opener, and spiral into a jam session. This time, though, it's cut short, leaving you wishing they had explored the intense groove more.

Next up is "Countryphile", one of the more song-based of the short tracks. It's quite nice with a loose acoustic guitar and spoken word and fire engine samples. Its a brief respite, from the furious jam sessions of the previous tracks and glides quite nicely into the next song.

Strap The Button definately have an amazing talent of creating hypnotic grooves, especially when they are channelled and become cohesive.

By the time you reach "Full Moon Effect", you begin to understand what this band is all about and begin to anticipate each climax from their slow-burning build-ups. However, this is most unlike the thousands of instrumental acts who use layer upon layer of delayed and distorted guitar in a deriviative quiet/loud formula. This band are too talented to use such a watered down approach, and instead prefer off-kilter rythmns, frenzied guitars and spiralling violins, that creates a tense sound that gradually gets heavier until it explodes.

The band also portray plenty of diversity, especially on "Mystery Song", which sounds like early Pink Floyd covering "The Pink Panther" theme tune. It features a creeping bassline and sweeping drums that evokes images of the crime caper.

"Gravy's Song" is more restrained, starting off with very skillful and pleasing plucked guitar work. The melody soon develops and reminds me of Peter Green's "Man Of The World".

On the excellent "Dom's Song", recruiting a violin player has paid dividends for Strap The Button. This track has a more standard post-rock approach, but the band cannot help themselves and launch into psychedelic guitar frenzy, that is becoming the trademark of their sound.

"Paperclipbeard The Pirate" is the stand out track of the album (not just because of its fabulous title). There is a strong Hawkwind aura again here. They seem to have 1000's of ideas, sometimes they don't quite work, but when they do it is a joy to behold

Strap The Button are a seriously talented and certainly innovative young group. They seem to be influenced by a scene that was about decades before they were born, yet have a perfect understanding of its structures, textures and spirit.

"Going To Jib Choons..." doesn't strike immediately, for a start there is too much going on to absorb in one sitting. Instead, I found putting the album on in the background worked a treat. As when you actually sit down and concentrate on it you start to recognise and enjoy what is on offer, especially the more delicate instrumentation. This is, by far, one of the most ambitious and progressive releases I've heard all year.

The Arctic Monkeys may have won the Mercury Music Prize last week and may be getting all the plaudits, but these youngsters have much more talent and ideas in my book. They have restored my faith in the future of British music with this release. I would not be surprised if this ended up in my top 10 albums of the year come December.

Strap The Button's star certainly burns brightly in the stratosphere tonight.

Order this album for a mere £5 from here, and listen to their psychedelic freakouts here. Their website also has a detailed discography and a news section too.


At 11 September, 2006, Blogger bulgakov said...

They do sound like Tarentel! Tarentel are more jazzy, it's true.

At 11 September, 2006, Blogger Micky67 said...

It actually mentions Tarentel's influence on their recored label's website. So you are spot on there then. I don't know Tarentel's music, I'll have to check it out

At 11 September, 2006, Blogger dan said...

Try Fear Of Bridges or From Bone To Satellite (from tarentel)


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