New Noise :: Electrelane - "To the East"

I'm quite the sucker for all-girl groups. So I have a particular fondness for Brighton's Electrelane, whom I've adored upon discovering them via 2005's Axes, itself a perfect post-rock experiment in tension and dynamics. Whereas Axes, though, was a beast of a more experimental nature — allmusic.com's Heather Phares sums it up pretty well, describing Axes's tunes as "keyboard-driven, largely instrumental tracks that often sound like a chamber music group playing forgotten Sonic Youth compositions." — the quartet's new disc, No Shouts, No Calls finds them returning to the blissful, ambient post-pop that earmarked their fantastic sophomore record, 2004's The Power Out.

There are flourishes of the familiar in "To the East," the lead track from No Shouts, No Calls. Easily, one of Electrelane's most obvious reference points is Stereolab, and both share a certain penchant for wobbly-yet-charming Krautrock-cum-British art-rock. The opening bass-and-drumline rumbles with the deft assertiveness of a later-day Pixies track before things kick into double-time, upon which images of modern Mergers such as Spoon (for its simple, pleading insistence) and The Rosebuds (for vocalist Verity Susman's female version of Ivan Howard's heartbreaking croon — and dig that organ!) are conjured. The guitar gets turned up to eleven in the chorus (which doubles as the coda), but remains nimble and subtly athletic in Mia Clarke's interplay with drummer Emma Gaze — hands down Electrelane's secret weapon for her steady-yet-complex backbeats. Susman's sweet voice drips sugary sincerity in a Win Butleresque way, and she delivers with a downtrodden deadpan that meshes perfectly with the music.

It's no "Eight Steps," but as we've said, No Shouts, No Calls is much more The Power Out than Axes. If you're intrigued by a song that can be described as "The Ronettes hopped up on a molotov cocktail of super steroids and horse tranqulizers," then Electrelane is for you.

Electrelane - "To the East"
Electrelane on MySpace

Bonus!: The video for "To the East"! No Shouts, No Calls is out now on Too Pure; buy it here.

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