Whilst King Tuts uses the time to stock up on showcasing pure quality central belt bands, even a city as full throttle as Glasgow takes a few weeks to shake off the New Year.
The annual Scottish folk feast of Celtic Connections begins on the middle Friday of the month and we have a full fat preview here, with all the trimmings.
One of the most notable gigs of the week falls under the care of Connections, as the name suggests, with New York’s blister rock outfit The Walkmen surfing coast to coast for a performance at Òran Mór on Wednesday the 19th.
Following the release of one of the most scintilating albums of 2010, Lisbon, the band have matured immeasurably since the shackles of hit song ‘The Rat’ pegging them to their sophmore album from 2004. However, after turfing out 2008’s sun kissed ‘You & Me’ LP to reveal a more relaxed and assured they alluded to with their debut work critical rejuvenation followed.
Last years’ release embodied front man Hamilton Leithausers’ bitersweet sensibilities, such as with lead track ‘Juvenilles’ (“I am a good man by any count, and I see better things to come…”) encapsulating the cruise control the bands trajectory is now in.
However they’re still capable of the bitter, barrier gripping assaults that catapulted them in the first half of the 00’s into the slipstream of bands, such as Interpol, that they arguably have coasted past critically over the last few years.
In fact they strangle the metal out of snappy chords and splice it alongside stomp-hop machine spat beats. This is served with front woman Alexis Krauss‘ drizzling a strength of vocal schizophrenia last seen on a Le Tigre record.
Guitarist Derek Miller’s influence is impossible to miss. Formerly of post-hardcore purists Poison The Well, Miller left in 2004 and began production and engineering work, culminating in an appearance on last years M.I.A album.
Throughout these years, Miller was simmering ‘Treats’ into the hard hitting beats that seemed to come from nowhere at the tail end of 2009, propelled by shows with the energy and aggression spawned from time confined to studio chairs, pouring over soundboards. However, M.I.A’s pot of leftfield-electro does certainly boil over into the Sleigh Bells sound, hardly a coincidence that they signed to her N.E.E.T Recordings by the end of the year.
There are too many excellent reasons for the duo’s sharp rise for it to be earmarked as pure hype. It’s as if they’ve taken the best Pick ‘N Mix of sounds in emerging music from the last five years, stuffed it all into the same bag and aren’t telling you what’s going to be handed out next.
18 months ago they had yet to sign to a label, now they’re blowing everyone into orbit, never mind out of the water. After a ferociously fleeting appearance at last years Stag & Dagger, this is their first Scottish headline date – get down to Stereo and get your share whilst there’s still tickets!
In person from Ripping Records or Tickets Scotland