Spanish math rock trio lay down a promising, if baffling titled, ep/mini-album
I don’t have time/money to go to many gigs these days. I suppose I’m kind of like what they call in football an armchair fan. But who has the time to actually become a fan of bands in an armchair in their 30s? No one, that’s who. No, I’m more of a stomping down the street to work fan. I’m a laid in bed at 3am squinting at the streetlights wondering what in the hell I’m doing with my life fan. I’m a long train journey home staring out of the window wondering about the lives of the faces flashing by,wondering idly to myself which of them I’d like to switch places with fan. There’s an awful lot music in this world, and whichever artists are responsible for the songs that, by incredible chance, really hit me – like small asteroids colliding in the midst of the infinite void of space – and leave me reduced to blind love in the midst of such darkness, well, they will have my love and support forever. To everyone else: if you’re doing it for yourselves, if you’re feeling good about what you’re doing and can square your choices with the person staring back at you from the mirror, then that’s wonderful. Go for it. Godspeed. And may one of your songs hit me on those precious moments of vulnerability and make me realise just how beautiful you really are.
I do get out now and again in an attempt to resist the urge to become a full time hermit. I caught IEPI on one such occassion during their tour with the ever wonderful That Fucking Tank and I was won over by the sheer bluster of their math rock onslaught. It’s hard not to be – they came straight out of the blocks at 100mph and barely let the crowd catch their breath until the end. Their relentlessness combined with their ability to lock into a furious groove and hammer it so far home it ends up agoraphobic and unable to leave had me, and a fair few other members of the audience, somewhat enchanted. They share a lot in common with TFT as well as math rock luminaries such as Don Baballero or Oxes but with a headlong approach that the likes of Lightning Bolt would have to sit back and admire.
It was a whirlwind set – though sadly I’d be lying if I said this ep/mini-album quite captures the dexterous velocity of that live show. What does carry over, unfortunately, is their lack of dynamics – as admirable as their stamina is to keep up such reckless and yet controlled careening even over 7 tracks it starts to tire. They got away with it during a support slot but over a longer set it would probably wear pretty thin. There were many happy gig-goers leaving the venue with vinyl copies of New Wr tucked under their arms but I can’t help but wonder how many were a little disappointed when they put it onto their turntables. Maybe it’s harsh to compare the recorded version to their live show – they wouldn’t be the first band to struggle to capture their live energy on record and I could just as easily be praising them for having such a good set as I am criticising them for a recorded version of it that can’t conjure up quite the same excitement as they managed in a sweaty, beer soaked club. As Gravenhurst put it, “the magic of stones when taken back home is left on the beach.” Either way, there’s more than enough here to enjoy and put them on the radar of any TFT/Lite/Té etc fan who enjoys their instrumental rock as if it were fired out of a cannon directly into their ears.
Now if someone can just tell me what a Wr is and why I’d want a new one I’d be happy.