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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

(the) Long Blondes - Giddy Stratospheres ep

Name: (the) Long Blondes
Album: Giddy Stratospheres ep
Year: 2005
Style: Indie Rock, Post-Punk, Updated Oldies
Similar Bands: Delta 5, Elastica, Franz Ferdinand, Pretenders, Pipettes
"One-Word" Review: Angular Cold Punk
Based Out Of: Sheffield, England
Label: What's Your Rupture?
 Giddy Stratospheres ep - Cover & Record
 Giddy Stratospheres ep - Back & Record

Giddy Stratospheres ep (2005)
  1. Giddy Stratospheres 4:49
  2. Polly 2:48 /
  3. Autonomy Boy 3:31
  4. Darts 1:27

Album Rating (1-10): 9.5

Members & Other Bands:
Kate Jackson - Vox (Madame Ray)
Dorian Cox - Guitar, Keys (Unmade Bed)
Reenie (Kathryn) Hollis - Bass, Vox (The Bon Bon Club, Nature Set)
Emma Chaplin - Guitar, Keys, Vox
Screech (Mark Turvey) Louder - Drums (The Bon Bon Club)

Unknown-ness: I’ve never heard of this band…at least I don’t think so…I can’t recall ever hearing them. But this EP looks very cool, and is basically an EP wrapped in a plastic bag. I like the silkscreened print on the bag, and the record itself looks very DIY with a stamp of the tracks and other info added in red, faded ink. As for the type of music, I’m imagining, from the artwork and name, garage psychedelic music. It looks like it is trying to capture an oldies aesthetic, while updating the look with a lot of angles and a basic color scheme.

Album Review: “Giddy Stratospheres” starts off with hand claps that designate a marching rhythm. The angular guitars come up sounding like something from Franz Ferdinand. The musical bridge kicks the FF style up a notch with smooth crooning deep female vocals. Overall, it sounds like a Delta 5 song post-punk: a female Gang Of Four. But the real hook of the song lies after two verse sections, the Pretenders-style, emotional repetition of the title in the true chorus. There are so many small sections of the song, it is barely recognized when they add an extra call-and response section with a background of females asking questions the lead answers after the chorus, and a harmonized ending breakdown that flows seamlessly into the chorus for an extra repeat. And it ends with the ringing guitar on an off-pitch note.
“Polly” sounds like an oldie pop song; a side-to side swaying country/doo-wop song, like the sort of genre that She & Him have since capitalized from. Think the Ronettes or a slower Pipettes

“Autonomy Boy” is another angular song, with call-and-response guitars, and a quiet hushed deep female vocals, similar to Elastica. But it is still most like the Delta 5. It flows with its own percussive tempo driving it along constantly. The vocals in the chorus are layered giving it a more powerful impact. There are sections in the instrumental with guitar fuzz and feedback, giving it a very DIY, post-punk feel, accompanying the somewhat monotone, deep vocals that follows an alarm like melody, which becomes obvious when the song comes to a ringing conclusion
“Darts” is another playful post punk guitar melody, reminding me of Mika Miko. It features more sing song vocal melodies, and is very angular guitars as the song builds toward the end of the song. Overall, a great bit of performance energy.

I can’t really pick out a stand out track, because these are all excellent songs, all of which capture a slightly different aspect of the band. Polly is probably the most distinctively different song on the EP, but I think I prefer Darts.

Stand-Out Track: Polly
Darts
Giddy Stratospheres

Links:
Album WIki
Band Wiki
A Charts
Drowned In Sound
The Guardian review
BBC
Pitchfork
Allmusic
Interpunk
raditaz

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