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Ann Arbor - A Long Trip

Ann Arbor - A Long Trip

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Ann Arbor - A Long Trip

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Ann Arbor are two men and a drum machine making pounding electric chaos like a cargo train running into the night on rails of broken glass.  Think Shellac getting their low-slung groove on with Justin Broderick, or 65daysofstatic ditching the glitch for some heavy-duty punk workouts. This music is utterly menacing, but completely engrossing. It skullfucks your emptied eyeholes like a randy buffalo after first digging into your synapses with a clawhammer. It tricks newcomers into false senses of security, into fleeting comfort zones, with brief segments of tuneful song, only to crash them into a wall of industrial squall seconds later. Masochistic bastards.


Reviews

I relished this new release from Ann Arbor due to thoroughly enjoying their previous recording '16-bit'.

It opens with some nice drifting notes over slight atmospheric humming in the background during the opener 'Filter', before stripped down jangling guitar, fizzing bass and machine drums deliver rather warp sounds akin to Jesus Lizard, John Spencer Blues Explosion, Foe and are produced within a Shellac style sound, and because of the drum programming there is a tiny element of industrial crunch, maybe a hint of Godflesh in the repetition. Certainly this is evident in 'Recursive' which could easily have been an Albini work.

Ann Arbor show off skills that do them proud as a guitar based band and also an ambient electric project as 'Book tour' would prove with its tiny echoes and blips of sound and eerie deliberations. The stunning 'The greatest plan' also has great fragments of synthetic noise at the start, before the early Pitchshifter dark grooves weld with Jesus Lizard style raucousness.

Another interesting collection of songs from Field Records band Ann Arbor.

raw nerve promotions

 

There's fuckin' bodies everywhere against the walls, on the floor, hanging limp from the ceiling fans, guts strewn all over the place like a spaghetti fight gone hardcore, blood splattered liberally. The pulse rate is off the scale; the little red needle making whoopie with the right-hand side of the dial like never before. Fuckin' intense. Creak creak a door swings open. Fire at fuckin' will, soldiers.

DEMONS! DEATH! BULLETS! BLOOD! FUCK!

Y'see, Ann Arbor do this to a person they make them see beyond the mundane reality of the daily grind and into some parallel Doom 3 universe where the tunnels of the Victoria Line morph into expressways straight to Hell itself (insert your own comment about Brixton, here). Well, mostly some of this instrumental punk-a-rock-a could be misconstrued as some kind of Match of the Day 'Goal Of The Month' backing track nonsense. Indeed, some of it could almost pass as such - 'Tortilla', for instance but so much more is ruddy terrifying. See: 'Creep Diet'. Sweat: blood.

Think Shellac getting their low-slung groove on with Justin Broderick, or 65daysofstatic ditching the glitch for some heavy-duty punk workouts. This music is utterly menacing, but completely engrossing. It skullfucks your emptied eyeholes like a randy buffalo after first digging into your synapses with a clawhammer. It tricks newcomers into false senses of security, into fleeting comfort zones, with brief segments of tuneful song, only to crash them into a wall of industrial squall seconds later. Masochistic bastards.

I just hope the train turns tail come the end of the line or none of us are surviving this trip.

Drowned in Sound

 

Sombre,hypnotique, intense, envo'tante... les adjectifs ne manquent pas pour qualifier la musique d'Ann Arbor. Derri're ce pseudonyme se cache le travail de deux personnes, Tim Waterfield et Matthew Jones, ainsi qu'une boite ' rythmes. Une recette simple sur le papier, mais bien plus complexe une fois la cha'ne hi-fi branch'e. Le duo innove et se comporte en v'ritable pr'curseur, n'h'sitant pas - brasser le punk, le post-rock, l'lectronique et m'me le hardcore !

Chacun des ingrdients sus-cit' est savamment int'gr aux compositions, sans clipser - aucun moment les autres. N'tant pas  une exprimentation pr't, Ann Arbor donnent dans l'instrumental et mettent totalement le chant de cot. Renier le cot vocal de la musique est un pari risqu, le plus souvent accompagn de certains effets n'gatifs tels la froideur des compositions ou le risque de r'p'titivit.

L'un  la guitare, l'autre la basse, les deux compres optent le plus souvent pour un son lourd accompagn de riffs tranchants ou le cot rock prend le dessus sur l'lectronique... et inversement ! L o Starple, Tortilla et Recursive sonnent r'solument rock, le bien nommToy Piano et Slow Guitar Groove laissent clairement le champ libre aux exprimentations. Le cot carr de la boite - rythmes ainsi que le format court et intense des morceaux (moins de trois minute le plus souvent), accentuent sans retenue le son punk et brut du combo qui ne semble encha'ner les notes sans jamais reprendre son souffle - aucun moment.

A Long Trip consiste donc en une musique sans compromis, tout autant capable de captiver l'auditeur que de le repousser. G'nie ou imposture ? Chacun se fera son opinion mais personne ne restera indiffrent face - Ann Arbor.

Sound of Violence

 

Musical duos always seem to be taken as a bit proggy or conceptual. Whether it is always the case or not, it certainly seems to be the situation here.

The Shellac-inspired drum machine punk rock pair seem to be telling some kind of elusive story, and with song titles like 'tortilla' and 'toy piano' you're left feeling intrigued. Whether there is some kind of theme going on or not (I like to think it's about jam), Ann Arbor certainly seem to be what people will refer to as 'interesting' and 'intelligent'.

If Shellac were covering Lightning Bolt songs with a drum machine and made everything a lot noisier, then threw in some samples and electronica, it would probably sound along the lines of 'A long trip'. In 'Staple' the stilted off-kilter rhythms are off set with what eventually becomes really hard and fast pummelling punk, whereas the drum 'n' bass intro of 'Recursive' shows just how many dimensions Ann Arbor are functioning on.

There are tracks and moments which sound utterly unique and work incredibly well in being dynamic and new, although in parts this album can feel a bit disjointed. Even though smoothness is not something they're clearly aiming to achieve (as this is abrasive listening vol. 1), 'A long trip' is at least pushing the boundaries for British musicians and contains noises and ideas (about jam) you're not going to forget quickly.

7.5./10

The Communion

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