Percolator – Sestra (Penske Recordings)
Delicious mixture of the propulsion of Stereolab and the textures and crunch of My Bloody Valentine from this Dublin band’s debut album.
There are many things to love about the album – the sense of adventure, the absorption in ideas for their own sake (an improv spirit maybe), the embrace at the same time of pop melodies, the sheer breadth of sounds generated throughout the album – but I think my favourite is that great quality in any band or album, not trying too hard.
I can think of ten other bands who might have taken a rough draft of these songs and turned them into bombast, beating you over the head with the ideas and in the process murdering any beauty.
Percolator have that wonderful thing, restraint, so instead they stick with the ideas, the raw elements and see them through, not just as means to an end but as diamonds in themselves.
In this I would put them next to labelmates The Altered Hours. A band with vision and in it for the long haul. Plus with obvious musical chops.
The killer tunes are easy to find. You could make a case for any of the eight here. ‘Squishy future’ like a skittering Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith workout introduced to guitars. The post-jazz atmosphere of ‘Law and order’, a Tortoise kind of languid unfurling. The single ‘Crab supernova’, a great motorik rhythm with brilliantly delicate guitars.
A wonderful piece of work and another notable album on the Penske Recordings label which is quickly becoming a benchmark for taste and quality.