Conversegazing

Nowhere Again – Now I am Twenty

Stream – ‘Hardman Square’

It’s a good indicator when a band has a sense of humour about what they do. Judging by the fact that Nowhere Again admit that some stuff was re-recorded all over the place on the space of four years and still sounds like a coherent EP, well, it’s laudable.

Now I am Twenty is the new EP by Nowhere again. A combination of shoegaze, rock, funk and even some ambient drone, Now I am Twenty is a lo-fi (remember the re-recording) adventure for these Mancunians.

‘Last human’ sounds like two song mashed together, sort of a musical Frankenstein, but with better medicare, as the seams are almost invisible. From the very rocky beginning, it progressively goes into ambient after the natural end of the distortion section has left for Argentina. A whispered, shushed voice is overpowered by a droning guitar and some bizarre ambient noises.

More on a dreamy side is ‘Eighteen’, a throwback to classic shoegaze (love the reverb in the lead guitar and the arpeggio being used). Song is very relentless, but the ending again seems like part of another song: a spot of synth (very dreamy, nice one) fades out, preparing you for an organ church-like intro in the showstopper that is ‘Hardman Square’. After a melancholic intro (“I want you to remember what you mean to me”) that includes a great falsetto (which slightly saturates the audio), the song goes for some very breezy funk. Which turns into a noisy post-rock song. I hope you’re streaming because my words can’t muster up what this song is about.

Which sort of happens with the track ‘Heliopause’, which is a collection of bends, sustains, feedbacks, echoes and more (is that an e-bow I hear in front of me?). The white noise sizzle just adds to the otherworldliness of the track, which does go on for a bit, but if you’re a fan of the more experimental ambient stuff (think BBC Radiophonic Workshop doing drugs and dunking eccles cakes in Absinthe – works wonders).

‘June’ is more of a classic shoegaze and post rock combo, with the usual guitar squealings and quiet moments that make for a staple song that could only be begotten from such a combination of genres. ‘Plans’ is the dreamy, quiet song of the lot. The sparse (for them) song is for the most part a calm song, with some stormy bits which get blown away like chinooks on a mountainside, letting the calm atmospheres and droning take over again.

If anything, the mixing is a bit lo-fi (probably on purpose, possibly because of the nature of their sound) and the more ambient stuff might leave you befuddled if you are not used to this game of echoes, reverbs and slow, seeping atmospheres.

Links.

Facebook. Bandcamp. Myspace. Last.fm.

About the author: I love ‘Heliopause’ as it reminds me of some strange dreams I had. Also, the description is quality “Alex- whatever is going on. “

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