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And So I Watch You From Afar
Invigorating debut from northern Noiseniks.
Lauren Murphy, 16 Apr 2009
Northern Ireland has developed a reputation as something of a hotbed of fiery post-rock bands in recent years. The latest to emerge from that busy scene, and perhaps the most likely to succeed on an international stage (they’ve already had enthusiastic reviews from an abundance of UK publications) is Belfast-based quartet And So I Watch You From Afar.
Having already sent shockwaves down the backbone of the local community with their mini-album This Is Our Machine And Nothing Can Stop It, the foursome have teamed up with Oppenheimer’s Rocky O’Reilly (on production) for their full-length debut. It’s a record of blistering, potent rock that displays an aptitude for both technicality and goosebump-inducing songwriting.
Opener ‘Set Guitars To Kill’ is an archetypal ASIWYFA tune; a song that gently lulls the listener in with intricate guitar work, before unleashing wave after wave of heavy riffs and recurrent drum beats. It would sound as at home in an enormodrome as it would a dingy underground club. ‘I Capture Castles’ and ‘Start A Band’ are equally corrosive, entwining siren-like blitzes and melodic interludes in a tight, crunchy mesh of sound.
As far as debut albums go, And So I Watch You From Afar is almost scarily accomplished, sturdy enough to stand shoulder to shoulder with music the foursome would probably classify as ‘influential’, but not as bullish as to assume there’s no room for improvement.