A welcome eight-tracker from the always impressive Glasgow trio.
Mike Diver 2012-10-01
While not quite a follow-up proper to Errors' third album Have Some Faith in Magic, released in March 2012, New Relics packs enough into its eight tracks to warrant investigation from both established followers and newcomers.
This set finds the Glasgow electro-does-indie-does-electro trio in a fairly introspective mood. Rarely do its beats-per-minute prod the pulse upwards, but neither does it wallow in the type of ambience that leads to forgettable listening experiences.
At times it’s really quite beautiful, Relics fitting a female vocal - precise lyrics lost in the foggy mix - beside some splendidly spectral keys. Later, Gros-Bon-Ange squelches like a Flying Lotus-disguised trespasser trudging through a swamp on Stars of the Lid’s land.
Hemlock might be the best (relatively) low-tempo cut here. Utilising the same detached vocal technique that decorated Have Some Faith…, lending the band’s digital designs organic texture, it bubbles and gurgles, swishes and washes like a collaboration between Com Truise and Cocteau Twins. And it’s every second as lovely as those parallels imply.
Ammaboa Glass offers more propulsive entertainment. Against Animal Collective-recalling percussion, woozy vocals speak of… well, they’re not entirely clear, but while the message is mostly lost in translation, the effect on the listener’s twitchy toes is absolute. Guitar work that’s not so far from Talking Heads contrasts well with bobbling bass and trembling treble tones.
Some might feel New Relics is a stopgap release, designed to maintain momentum between album cycles – but they might well be wrong. It’s not like Have Some Faith… has dropped off anyone’s radar, remaining fresh in the minds of those who took to its “balanced and shaded” pieces (to rob from the BBC’s own review). To those listeners, this worthwhile venture serves as a fine complementary package, not exactly pushing at the edges of its makers’ own creative envelope but exploring known ground extremely well.
And for newcomers, this is a very accessible side to a band that unfalteringly impresses, time after time. One can dance fast or slow to Errors’ music, but whatever the mood, it’s movement that’s very much on the agenda.