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Indie, Noise, Shoegaze… Music

Choff – SPLASHH: Waiting a lifetime (Cinematic, 2017)

Waiting a Lifetime

El segundo trabajo oficial de Splashh surge con dos grandes trabas. La primera: el largo tiempo de espera que ha habido que aguardar hasta la aparición de Waiting a lifetime ( los cuatro años que van desde 2013-2017). Segundo, que la banda durante este hiato ha perdido gran parte de su frescura inicial y ello ha repercutido en el sonido final de este disco.
Cuantas más escuchas le he dado, más llego a la conclusión de que Waiting a lifetime ha llevado una existencia paralela a la del BritPop (o lo que quede de él), del que Splashh vendrían a ser como uno de sus últimos exponentes: la crónica de una muerte anunciada. Escarceos con le electrónica, canciones faltas de vigor en su mayor parte y un cierto vacío de contenido que ni siquiera se compensa con las guitarras a volúmenes altos de su primer trabajo. Tienen faena para recomponer el rumbo.
Me gustan: See through, Gentle april, No. 1 song in hell.

“All the energy and guitar overload from that album is present on Waiting a Lifetime, only with the addition of tighter songs, a more interesting batch of arrangements, and enough hooks to last a lifetime. Kicking off with the raging rocker “Rings,” which features some very grungy guitars, the album hits hard and fast before dialing down a bit for some songs that show off the quartet’s skill at making melancholy indie rock. “See Through” is an aching last-dance-at-the-prom kind of thing; “Gentle April” is an atmospheric ballad with a huge chorus; “Comeback” has the exact right balance of restraint and guitar mutilation. This brace of songs has depth that the first album rarely reached, and the addition ofJaie Gonzalez‘s keyboards to the mix is welcome and sometimes surprising. The synths that pepper the album are one of the only vestiges of Splashh‘s drastic post-debut swerve that saw them delving into electronics. The squelchy techno-driven “Look Down to Turn Away” gives an interesting clue into what it might have sounded like if they had stuck with that sound. It was probably a good idea for them to go back to dream pop, since they do it so well. Songs like “Closer” and the title track have the kind of gauzy energy that the best dream poppers of the ’90s had when firing on all cylinders; the calmer tracks have an autumnal sadness and richness; and vocalist Toto Vivian proves to be just as adept at crooning through ballads as he does casually wandering through the faster ones. Waiting a Lifetimeis the end result of a lot of hard work, experimentation, and craft, yet it still sounds alive and full of emotion. Not every band ends up with something so positive and fulfilling after such a difficult process. Luckily for fans of well-played and thought-out indie rock, they stuck to it and saw it through to its satisfying conclusion” (All Music)

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23 mayo, 2017 Posted by | Splashh | Deja un comentario

Splashh: Comfort (Kanine Records, 2013)

cover

Freshness

Splashh suenan a onomatopeya acuática. A mí me suena a frescura. Y Comfort (Kanine, 2013), tiene ese punto de frescor. El combo británico-neozelandés se ha marcado uno de esos debuts reconfortantes e ingeniosamente creativos.
Partiendo de presupuestos simples, los chicos han construido un álbum que podría haber sido de notable muy alto si la distribución de las canciones hubiera sido algo más acertada. Porque Comfort comienza con tres temas absolutamente infartantes.splashh
Headspins es algo así como la reencarnación de los Pixies en brazos de Nirvana (eran una de las bandas favoritas de Kurdt Cobain).
La Psicodelia suave (dominante en todo eldisco) de All I wanna do (sencillo que Splashh ya había dado a conocer) nos deja extasiados con esa batería de guitarras bajadas de tono (huella MBV) y su impronta sonor deudora de gentes tan importantes como The Apples in Stereo o The Boo Radleys. Ese mismo tono aparecerá posteriormente también en Lemonade.
Y la fiesta continúa con el que a mi parecer es de los mejores temas del disco: Need it, un himno enérgico de lisergia acelerada y sintetizadores mágicos que bien podría haber sido tutelada por Creation Records.
“I need a long vacation, some place to clear my mind” es la frase más repetida de Vacation, otro de esos cortes absolutamente imprescindibles de este debut. Por cierto, me gustaría hacer reseñar que la banda se formó hace apenas un año, con lo que podemos estar seguros de su talento compositor.
Esa terna de composiciones hacen que Comfort se convierta, como dije, en uno de los debuts del año. Aunque todavía aparecen momentos memorables: Feels like you, la mencionada Lemonade, Wahed up, Strange fruit
La nueva onda Psicodélica surgida al amparo de bandas como Tame Impala, tiene en Comfort una vía de escape absolutamente irresistible. La puerta está abierta.
Por cierto, Splashh serán unos de los protagonistas de los escenarios del Fib, el 18 de Julio.

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They’re somewhat mistakenly described as grunge revivalists in some quarters; granted,Comfort opener ‘Headspins’ owes a small debt of gratitude to Nirvana’s ‘Sliver’ in the same way Feeder’s ‘We Can’t Rewind’ does for example. But that’s precisely where any similarity ends. Sure, there’s little doubt a lot of Splashh’s influences come from what many perceive to be the halcyon era of independent guitar music: 1987-1992. But rather than simply ape the obvious, there’s a hell of a lot more thought gone into this record. So much more in fact. Listen again to ‘Headspins’ and there’s middle eights Britpop stalwarts Elastica and Sleeper would be proud of. Meanwhile debut single ‘All I Wanna Do’ – re-recorded here in a haze of widescreen echo-laden fury – recalls Creation Records at its (pardon the pun) most creative juncture. And by that we’re thinking The Boo Radleys Everything’s Alright Forever or Adorable’s Fade, possibly themost understated record to bear Alan McGee and co.’s names.
Take a trawl through Comfort’s ten songs and there’s a whole list of indiscriminate influences waiting to be pointed out. However, bearing in mind the members of Splashh are still only in their early twenties, such gesticulative like-for-like comparisons would not only be doing the band a disservice, but in many ways also an inaccurate source of reference. Take ‘Lemonade’ for example, a song which for all the life of it could fit like hand in glove onto The Wonder Stuff’s 1988 debut The Eight Legged Groove Machine. Nevertheless, even with a Black Country reared member of the band, it would be highly unlikely to imagine any of Splashh being aware of the ‘grebo’ or ‘fraggle’ subcultures, let alone its later London offspring ‘the Camden lurch’.
Instead, it would be more appropriate to focus on what Splashh bring to the table. And asComfort consistently demonstrates, they’re a sugary bundle of youthful exuberance wrapped in delicious halos of intoxicating reverb, ear-shredding fuzz and occasionally, pensive melancholia. Each song displays anthemic tendencies in its own right. ‘Green & Blue’ does trippy, kaleidoscope and downright infectious all in one four-and-a-half minutes sitting. Imagine what Pet Sounds would have sounded like had Brian Wilson discovered the art of de-tuning guitars through a multitude of effects pedals 20 years before Kevin Shields and there’s your answer. “Where have you gone?” asks Carlson over a woozy concoction of atmospheric guitars and riffs blended in shades of candy apple grey.
Elsewhere, former b-side ‘So Young’ bounces around with the enthusiasm of a five year old that’s discovered its first bouncy castle. “I don’t want to waste your time, ‘cos your time is so sublime”, declares Carlson. Likewise with its then-flipside ‘Need It’, again bathed in a pool of Lamacq-endorsed splatterpunk that wouldn’t have felt out of place in Deptford’s New Cross two decades ago.
Unsurprisingly, Splashh’s real dynamic lies within their live performances, so it is to the band’s credit that they’ve managed to capture all the energy and excitement of one of their shows into an aural adrenaline rush lasting little over 33 minutes. Indeed, there’s little filler here, which for a band that barely existed twelve months ago and has chosen to omit recent online giveaway and live favourite ‘Sun Kissed Bliss’ is a truly remarkable feat.
By the time reflective closer ‘Lost Your Cool’ brings Comfort to a close the only feasible option is to return to the beginning and repeat the listening process all over again. Now how records can you honestly say that about in recent years? Exactly. A hidden gem in a murky quagmire of landfill non-entities” (Drowned in Sound)

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14 junio, 2013 Posted by | Splashh | Deja un comentario

   

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