Doubtlands | SMS – 4/10/20

Mt DoubtDoubtlands

Goodness me, another album already? As head of the Edinburgh alt rock collective Mt Doubt, Leo Bargery has to be one of the most prolific musicians in the entire Scottish scene.

I swear, it seems like every time I look away for a minute, he’s come out with yet another record for audiences to gladly indulge in, and now we’ve got his latest – Doubtlands.

68th In Orbit commences it off firmly with this lovely balance of pristine acoustic and electric chords that helm the tender melody, and through Leo’s gracious, broad-ranged voice, his words set a nice picture with an appeasing atmosphere to it.

That mood is affirmed well as the group move into the lead single, Caravans On A Hill, perking up the energy a touch and sinking in with some affectionately memorable lyrics.

Yawn When I Do is so radiant and embracing in tone, and the instrumentally laminated Waiting Rooms shines gloriously with a grand sense of scale, continuing to keep you mesmerised by the pure, heartfelt lyrics.

Murmurations is a brief, light ditty where Annie gets her chance to take centre stage, then we return to the full-form content with Headless, chocked with life as it squeezes in so much, such as these wonderful harmony hooks, solid drum beats and ravishing sax solos, and Stairwell Songs more or less follows suit on that note whilst effectively capturing a feeling of loneliness.

Dark Slopes Away definitely changes the ambience with a more conspicuously rougher, ominous vibe to it, but this only ups your focus and gets you all the more intrigued and has you hanging on the notable writing, especially of the packing chorus.

Eshaness makes an astounding impression with its definitive synths, harsher riffs, and an overall weightier rhythm than ever before. As a matter of fact, this could very well be the highlight, and they utilise the momentum from it to charge forth into the tremendous climax, Peaks Of Wreck.

You’d think with so much music being spouted out within a short period of time that it would grow stale, but Mt Doubt somehow find a way to ensure that this is not the case.

Doubtlands goes beyond fresh, it’s undeniably the best work that the band have produced to date, being a cinematic-calibre experience that wows and provokes you in many ways as it goes before leaving you fulfilled after a dramatic and sensational finish.

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The Girl Who Cried WolfOut Of It

Glasgow pop duo The Girl Who Cried Wolf were kind enough to supply a surprise EP with a few days notice, just in time for another one of Bandcamp’s blessed Fridays – Out Of It.

The title number kicks off with neat, deep-bass instrumentals, before Lauren enters the fray with a back-and-forth series of sublime harmonies and sharp spoken-word threads. She’s really forthright in her delivery, and that intensity is particularly reflected in the second half.

The dark and haunting Undone is easily one of the pair’s best songs ever, with the potent lyrics relating harsh mental battles with an abusive opposer to a boxing match; the writing touching upon the punches being taken and the bruises being caused as a result.

Wake Up has a ravishing sound and is pushed by light yet dynamically swift drum beats, Grubby is another gritty, hard-edged cut that is relentlessly confrontational, and so damn effectively so, and At The End Of It All goes in a more positive direction with a showering of kind and loving words.

Their previous two releases have been satisfying, but The Girl Who Cried Wolf may have just topped themselves. While some of their past content may be more memorable and mainstream-friendly, they really take their music to richer, sophisticated levels here, making a broad effort to get across emotionally resonating messages that hit you hard in the mind and soul.

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GodNo!Too Much Future

Just the other week, I had a surprise delivery come through the letterbox with a pair of records from the always-dependable Reckless Yes label. One was the Too Much Future EP from Derby collective GodNo, who I had vague memories of talking positively about before, so with confidence, I stuck it on and was treated to something really nice.

They roll in with Unholy Water, which shines with this somewhat odd, vexing tone that heightens your intrigue and locks you in while the song proceeds with a solid chorus, among other things. Canada Goose bumps up the intensity, rocking with good distorted guitars, fresh vocals and an infectious wavy melody mixed with such contagious lyrics.

Hulk follows suit but with a significantly harder edge to it as well as more attention-grabbing writing, and it certainly goes a little off the rails towards the end, and delightfully so. A forceful battering of drums signals the final track Short Shrift which is, needless to say, a ruddy fine display of passionate kookiness, complete with an insanely addictive hook, that caps off the record on a buzz.

Of course when you mould together a line-up of members from other awesome acts, you expect quality material, and this is exactly that. GodNo’s first outing is a brief yet jolly and crazed rush with a tonne of replay value to give you more bang for your buck.

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