January's sound could be described as a less far out, more tuneful Spiritualized.
Dan Tallis 2004-02-24
Since the release of their debut album on Alan McGee's Poptones label everything that could have gone wrong for January did. Their management resigned, they lost their record deal and the band split up. However before the band members parted ways they managed to put together a collection of truly wonderful, yet understandably fraught songs. Thankfully lead singer and songwriter Simon McLean decided to go ahead with the release of this album. It's out on the Must Destroy label, who also brought us Lowestoft's finest The Darkness.
Motion Sickness opens with a bang. The bang of a drum to be precise. The bang of a drum that sounds like it's being hit within an inch of its life. The wonderfully deep sound reverberates around all four corners of your room/head (if you're wearing headphones - delete as applicable). The drums immediately grab your attention but they feel, for a moment, slightly incongruous next to the jangly guitars that appear soon after. However, the two disparate sounds soon begin to live in harmony and once they're mixed together with McLean's gentle vocals a fantastic opening track is formed.
January's sound could be described as a less far out, more tuneful Spiritualized. On one of the stand out tracks "Signal Fire" guitars, drums and slide guitar build chaotically to a climax that Jason Pierce would be proud of.
The album was recorded up amongst the wilds of Scotland. It's easy to imagine the dramatic countryside and the powerful forces of nature whilst listening to "Square Is Closing" and the album's title track. Indeed "Square Is Closing" even includes the soothing sounds of waves breaking on a beach. These two tracks are more mellow and melancholic. The sound of a band in mourning over their inevitable and imminent break up.
The album is littered with beautiful melodies and finishes with its most captivating track; a superb, haunting cover of Yoko Ono's "Have You Seen A Horizon Lately?".
If you like your music blissed out with sonic highs and chilled out lows then I can heartily recommend adding Motion Sickness to your collection. Go with the flow. I promise it won't cause nausea.