Dark, dusty, brooding and skulking, And They Are Us opens with the grubby, moody ‘Last Day Of Summer’. Laced with distorted guitars and spoken vocal samples, the track is thrust along its timeline with breakbeats that underpin an exciting fusion of dance, rock, ambient, and dubstep.
‘Groove Modulator’ stays firmly fixed in the darkness, with a Burial style low end backdrop, with energetic scratches. An exciting moment for me was the relatively obscure Back To The Future samples, with Michael J Fox’s Marty McFly pitch shifted just out of immediate recognition.
‘Elvish Has Left The Building’ takes things in a more firmly post rock direction, with its wailing guitar, hunkering bass, and clattering drums, all of which pull together as the guitars explode into a rich and cataclysmic crescendo. There are softer moments too, like the Explosions In The Sky influenced ‘Twin Radio Mouse’ with its experimental electronic stylings that flitter and flutter across the track, while ‘Nihongo’ brings in a little world music flavour for good measure, with a smoky Satriani style guitar solo.
And The Are Us features a lot of guts and imagination, not least on ‘HX-1′, which builds, ebbs, and flows with its dubby, post-rocky, glitchy mixture, and closing track ‘My Own Private Travelizer’ with its glacial digital delays and growling distorted guitars. This is an exciting record that successfully brings together a range of genres without feeling contrived. More than that, it very much succeeds in maintaining an interesting sound throughout the album, never getting boring, always offering a new surprise.
By Chris Marsh