Dear reader, believe me, I’m attempting to take Quad Throw Salchow seriously, really I am. Because both the tracks on their new double A-side, namely ‘The Unwelcome Guest’ and ‘Speed’, are good, nay, great, dark, cynical forays into the city’s (any city’s) seedy, gruesome underbelly, shot through with a restlessness that results from paranoia and chill rather than from drinking too much cola.
It’s just that, despite the chugging guitars and grinding beats and irresistible bass lines, there’s something distracting me. Which is that the voice here, the sort of voice that would probably occur if Bob Dylan was talking in his sleep (only on the night that somebody snuck into his bedroom and replaced his throat with high-grade second-hand emery paper), sounds an awful lot like the guy from quite-good-but-still-very-sub-Coral skiffle-core also-rans The Basement. Heck, for all I know it could actually _be_ the same guy. But, try as I might, the slow-burning velocity of these songs seems somehow hampered, distracted by the singer’s one-man anti-smoking campaign of a vocal.
Anyway, croaky conundrums aside, both songs mark QTS as a twisted, cerebral trio worth looking out for, the curiosity of the songs bolstered by how their lyrics are apparently inspired by the Surrealist ‘automatic writing’ process. In ‘The Unwelcome Guest’, though, it’s the churning, pulsating atmospherics that steal the show, the stabs of synth and brooding dance-ability coming on like Suicide trying to break into Studio 54. ‘Speed’ fares less well, admittedly, yet is still infectious in its repetition, at one point the refrain “so many dreams, many dreams” whirling over and over as the ‘Rat Trap’-style bass line loops itself into oblivion. For those who know what I’m talking about, think Ikara Colt’s ‘City Of Glass’ if it aspired to being on one of those Best Driving Albums In The World... Ever!
For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, think trawling the streets at night, staring unblinking through weary, hollow eyes. And ears, I guess.
7Thomas Blatchford's Score