ARTIST: Steeple Remove

RELEASE: Vonal-Axis

RELEASE DATE: 30th November 2018

RECORD COMPANY: Fuzz Club Records

With a career that spans two decades and a perplexing sound that drones through shoegaze, krautrock, psych pop, post-punk and deep experimentalism, ‘Steeple Remove’ dip their impressive musical tendrils into a variety of sonic worlds. Their debut album ‘The Importance Of Being Steeple Remove’ was released back in 1998 on cult label Sordide Sentimental who put out earlier works from the likes of Joy Division, Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, not returning until eight years later with ‘Radio Silence’ in 2006 and Electric Suite’ in 2008, both marking a change in direction away from their experimental electronica days and unveiling a sound filled with krautrock, psychedelic rock and sullen atmospheric pop. With a few live shows and the odd single release in-between the band unleashed ‘Position Normal’ back in 2014 receiving monumental praise. Steeple Remove is Arno Van Colen – vocals/synth, Walter Thomas – percussion, Mana Audisio – guitars & David B – bass. The French-based quartet returned late last year with a blistering nine track opus entitled ‘Vonal-Axis’, recorded by the band themselves on an old 8 track recorder, mixed by Demian Castellanos (The Oscillation) and officially released back in November 2018 through the good folks over at Fuzz Club Records. You can get your hands on it right now on various formats via fuzzclub.comfuzzclub.bandcamp.com

‘Oval-Stril’ kicks off proceedings swirling within an instrumental droning strapped to a breakbeat and walls of luscious guitar. Hushed vocalisations cling just below the mix, gliding on top of cascading bass notes that cut through layers of intense melody and woozy reverberation. Up next, ‘Blood Veins’ echoes into audible range stuck top a bedrock of repetitive percussion and electronic bleeps & whirls. Howling drones accompany angry bass tones into the atmospheric abyss as ‘Steeple Remove’ unleash their experimental side sounding more like Nine Inch Nails colliding with energetic drive of The Stooges. Vocal lines cut through swathes of reverb and those catchy chorus changes impresses immensely as howling lines of lead guitar intertwine with that more abrasive industrial sound. The instrumental ‘Ferris Noir’ resonates through eerie atmospheric drones, distorted passages of lead guitar and heavy bass frequencies whilst the opening bars ‘Set It’ lean slightly into a more electronic vibe with those sequenced percussive accompaniments before eventually exploding into a menacing cut of garage psych that balances precariously on a repetitive instrumental chord structure. Filled with swirling lines of synth, cutting vocalisations and angry guitars, ‘Set It’ is a definite album highlight.

‘In Dreams’ glides into earshot on a woozy wave of droning synth as jazz like instrumentation, a slow moving drum track and a female vocal swirls into the light. Fuzzy, repetitive bass notes bounce and hover just below that hallucinogenic tempo as soaring lines of lead guitar weave a sonic web, connecting the dots brilliantly with intricate trails of reverb clinging to every single note. ‘Monochrome Continuum’ screams into the ether on a resonating drone before that off kilter drum pattern arrives pulling bouncing bass lines into the mix accompanied by walls of synth laden noise. Catchy chorus changes lift the entire piece allowing lines of lead guitar to dance and flow in between those melody filled vocal lines whilst ‘In The Waves’ begins with a flurry of energetic frequencies as lines of feedback laden guitar and subtle swells of synth merge into one magnificent wall of sound. Pacy, kraut like drums add weight, building slowly alongside cascading keyboard frills and the drone of angry bass before the vocals arrive and we’re spiralling into the ether on a blistering psychoactive chorus change. ‘In The Waves’ is sublime and another album highlight for me.

The albums penultimate piece entitled ‘Waters’ exploders into life with a steady rumble of drums before lines of hallucinogenic synth and a punishing wall of guitar arrive, bouncing on a line of catchy bass notes. Theres as summery 70’s psych vibe swirling here that is infectious as kraut like experimentation mingles perfectly with golden hued psychedelic abandonment. Catchy vocals etched with golden reverberation cling to the instrumentation perfectly as we’e scooped up and brought on a soaring kaleidoscopic thrill ride. The album closes out with instrumental ‘Pink Ferris’. Futuristic in it’s approach, it has electronic vibes deftly twisted and shaped into that post-punk styled engine room and adorned with a modern garland of entrancing psychedelic instrumentation. A very interesting experimental finale to a really great album.

4/5

LINKS:

fuzzclub.bandcamp.com

fuzzclub.com 

facebook.com/SteepleRemoveFR/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Del Chaney - (Author Photo)

Del Chaney has spent the last six years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream-pop, post-punk & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog – The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion (Now On Hiatus). His other arm  – Primal Radio –  has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting genres of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.