Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Shorthand Phonetics - Requiem For Our Last Character Building Camp

Hear The Track Here

What is it with these guys and their song titles? Maybe they are trying to get into the Guinness Book of Records for the most song titles that make absolutely no sense whatsoever award? Who knows? Anyhow, Shorthand Phonetics are a 6 peice Jakarta, Indonesia based band who - in the time they have been on Soundclick - have made lots of friends and pleased a great many people. Despite, some would say, their relatively young ages (around 17 at last count) and their absolutely up and down nature of production - or maybe I mean non-production because mostly what you hear are live mixes.

It's in the songs that this band scores though. Not always, not often but enough to show that they will become a band to be reckoned with. See, if they are like this at 17, imagine what they will be like in a few years. Like a lot of sub-Asian bands (there are several dozen on Soundclick alone) they have wholeheartedly embraced the western music ethos and pump it back at us as if they had invented it. Well, they are certainly re-inventing it, judging by this bands output. Requiem is the first official single off the upcoming album 'Fanfiction: From the Seriously Absurd to the Absurdly Serious'. See what I mean about the titles? As befits the first single status, it bounds into your ears with all the enthusiasm and speed of a greyhound fresh out of the trap, and in my favourite of all SP styles; kinda rocky, with a dash of punk.

Don't be running away with the idea that you are about to hear something stylish, taut and finely honed because you'd soon discover how many miles away from the truth you are. One of the most enduring qualities of this band is their godawful (and I'm being kind here) production standards, and the reason that I sound so pleased about that is because on this band - and this band only - it kinda fits their rough and ready ethos. In terms of energy and rough hewn charm, this is more reminiscent of the Clash than the Buzzcocks, and more rocky than either of those two bands put together. I also detect more than a slight improvement in their overall sound, at least there IS a mix on the track - and in stereo!! Yep, made my jaw drop too. Great shame the tom hits kinda thud into your brain though - but it isn't the aural nightmare of the past and that's a blessing. You either like this band or not, and I do. A great deal and THIS is the standard I have come to judge them by. As you like 'em - rough and ready.

Highly Recommended.

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