Friday, 27 May 2011

Day For Airstrikes
Into the Comet
Out Now
Rating: 4/5

Judging by their more recent material (the Adam, Wez, Ian, John, Danny, Rita, Sue and Bob Too EP), I was rather expecting a similar experience when returning to their first album Into the Comet as a recent convert to the band. Instead there's actually more of a guitar-led approach to the compositions, and to bastardize a famous quote, “is that a looper I see before me?” Yes, ha fucking ha indeed (spot the reference for +10 EXP, it's been a long day), I hear you cry; but on tracks like the densely-layered 'Quiet!!!!! Warmbear' and 'Cosmonaut', the interplay between the guitars is definitely front-and-centre as the er, selling point of this band (as if they needed something so crass). Like fellow Manchester progsters Cyril Snear, they're not above the inclusion of brass here and there, and I'm totally down with that.

Personally, my favourite cut is 'Reichstag', possibly the most timbrally interesting, not to mention arguably the most epic in scale; though I'll admit that 'Cosmic Horse' is a strong contender for the crown. In terms of honourable mentions, you've got to bring up 'Honestly Honesty Bosun Smee', which is definitely the most massive-sounding if you're listening on speakers. In particular, the combination of thick fuzz-bass and staccato drums driving through the guitar figures in the first section of the song are a clear highlight of the album. The track as a whole bears some comparison to Steven Wilson's 'No Twilight Within the Courts of the Sun' from Insurgentes, except, y'know, without a vocal.

Overall, it's an accomplished first record. Let's be honest, most bands are sensible enough to stay clear of instrumental music unless they know they can do it well, and Day For Airstrikes are no exception. It's also worth elaborating that whilst this record is clearly the result of a considerable amount of effort well-spent, their newer material shows signs of a highly gratifying development of their sound, and I rightly have high hopes for album two.

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