Hear The Track Here
When you've been reviewing for a while on a constant basis, you absolutely have to develop a marked sense of humour - otherwise you'll go nuts. Some artists breeze through each track, seemingly spitting them out like bullets, everything neatly squared away, teeth brushed and shoes polished. Reviewing tracks like that is a doddle, even a 2 year old could master it. On the other hand, there are artists who make you suffer along with them; every inch of the way. I have encountered a great many of them and paid the price,. Although writing reviews about this kind of artist is painful, very unrewarding and an endless uphill struggle to put a positive spin on it, it too has its own rewards. There are artists I have lambasted for years and years only to find that - while I wasn't looking - they have either become very much better, or made their own style almost part of the mainstream here.
Shorthand Phonetics is one of those artists.
Now I know Ababil Ashari (aka SP) has a sense of humour and I almost choked on my coffee when I saw what he had put up for review this month. A demo, Ababil?? Haven't I given you grief for what? three years?, for making tracks that have essentially labeled as demos from the getgo. Considering that the band founded their Soundclick reputation (and they do have one surprisingly enough) on being a 'garage band' whose track were some of the noisiest I have ever heard, calling them demos would have been a kindness. So, my question is this: Is this a demo of a demo??
Enquiring minds want to know.
What is apparent, right from the starting bell, is that this is undoubtedly Shorthand Phonetics, no one else quite sounds like this and in some ways that has been the secret of their success. That's despite endless bum notes, excitable, even screechy singing at times, and mixes that would strip your ears of wax from a thousand yards. Yep all that and more is on display in Search For My New Top Infatuation (and there is another Shorthand Phonetics hallmark). The thing that always saves this band from oblivion is Ababil's unerring energy, and that trademark sound: Clash-y guitars and vocals that could have come from the heyday of punk - at least in its more pop format espoused by The Buzzcocks and other Manchester luminaries. Like all of his tracks, Search is brimfull of good ideas. Maybe too many even. That has always been a slight problem with new people getting into this band, this songwriter packs so many ideas in it can sometimes sound choppy, but aaaaah it grows on you with each playing.
Rubbish or a truly unique musical voice? You decide. Recommended for it's style and fans will have it already.