All The Saints - Intro to Fractions

by Steve Reynolds Rating:7 Release Date:2012-01-30

Ah - All the Saints (Not to be confused with the all-girl pop band All Saints unless of course they've developed a penchant for all things noisy, which let's be honest is simply bollocks and highly unlikely) weave their way back into our hearts with their sophomore album, Intro to Fractions.

Having a more than healthy attraction for Jesus & Mary Chain, MBV, Ride, Boo Radleys and Sonic Youth, it's a throwback riding on the current wave of nostalgia for 90s indie guitar, but rather than just ripping the guts out of those bands and regurgitating it they've made a crystallised sound brimming in melodic guitar with slabs of noise sweeping in and out against a sensitive and brooding vocal.

It all starts rather swimmingly with the slow-burning guitar sheen of 'Half Red, Half Way' which builds and builds with ethereal whisperings soothing the harsh undertones of the unrestrained background din. 'Poly Daughters' is more cultured and the mellifluous, Beach Boy type vocal has shades of Mascis and Malkmus about it. The noise lurches back and forth again but maintains a healthy edge of brim and fire.

Matt Lambert's urgency is in abundance on the driving 'Alteration' with its military drum patterns and haunting musical arrangement, which showcases the band's focus on the music. It's a blistering opening salvo - full of craft, guile and melodically controlled blasts of noise, making for a compelling and captivating listen.

Mostly, however, you can take the vocals with a pinch of salt. They are relevant to such tracks as 'EIO', not in an agit-prop way but merely just as the final glue, especially when the pummelling drums take centre stage before a blanket of noise is thrown over the top of it and Lambert's gentle slacker yelp adds a fitting finale.

All the songs are well textured, thought out and build into a pyre. Closer 'Buster' is a decent send off and even though they haven't created a new aesthetic the influences they have used have had a profound effect on the musical output on Intro to Fractions.

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