Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Shorthand Phonetics - Surreal Situation for Sarah-Jean

Hear The Track Here

OK after the cockup on my part last month with the November Skyline track I reviewed attributing it to SP, I am assured that THIS is the real thing. Surreal Situation for Sarah-Jean is a track from the band's fully downloadable album Fan Fiction which you can download for nothing at archive.org. I grabbed a copy of it a week or so ago but much to my annoyance I have yet to find the time to even give it a cursory listen and once I knew this track was up for review this month, that kinda finished listening to it at all. The album is full of tracks I (and lots of other reviewers) have raved about of the past couple of years. So much so that it reads like a Shorthand Phonetics Greatest Hits jobbie...

Not bad for such young 'un's eh? ;)

There is a side to Shorthand Phonetics that doesn't really appeal to me; the love/life is a tragedy routine I could well do without but there's no doubt that I love this band when they rock out. Surreal Situation for Sarah-Jean is a track that will be instantly familiar to those of us who have developed an appetite for this Indonesian proto-punk particular brand of musical mayhem. The thing that has always appealed to me about them is their ability to craft a song, and deliver it properly despite some horrendous mix stories and Surreal Situation is cut from that mould. Without, I might add, any of the horrendousness so evident in so many of this bands tracks. They do seem to have surmounted their initial problems and are now delivering consistently reasonable sounds, albeit definitely 'live' sounding.

Again, that is another draw of this band. As you listen, you can actually visualise them all going about their business, they SOUND like a band. Surreal Situation is an ace track from the standpoint of us old fans but what might they offer a newcomer? Great songs for a start, set in what Soundclick have lablelled Alternative: Alt Punk which think gets it said. I've said before that when they hit this particular groove (their more punky stuff) that they remind me strongly of the Buzzcocks but that probably has more to do with the vocal tone than anything they do musically. Not sure what the little coda is doing on the end of this track though unless it's just a bit of weirdness for weirdness sake. It's been a while since SP came up with a track like this, but this is worth it - should you like a bit of rough and ready, of course.


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