The VoltairesPutting this CD on the stereo and hitting play is like pressing “open” on an automatic garage door clicker, the metal grill peeling back to reveal The Voltaires within, thrashing out the abrasive, snapping garage rock that forms their debut album.

This is not any garage. The Voltaires’ magic garage might be located anywhere from the East Village to Venice Beach to Dewsbury West Yorkshire; any place from the 1960s to the 1970s to 2013. But The Voltaires definitely rock that garage chic – the casual, greasy aesthetic of The Strokes, The Stooges, The Stones and most bands beginning “St:. Apart from The Streets. So we have baggy, grungey, distorted guitars trading riffs with more shimmering, jangling riffs on tracks like ‘There Will Always Be Cinema’ whilst elsewhere across this long player, tracks like ‘(I Hate) Saturday Nights’ display a new wave, almost punk energy whereas ‘Eye For An Eye’ has a wilful thrashiness to it, seeming to doff its cap to Frank Black and The Pixies. ‘Domino Effect’ demonstrates the essential percussive punchiness that underpins much of The Voltaires’ music whilst for me, the stand-out track is the more loose, low-slung ‘Sad Alone’.

The rhythm is tight, the guitars shimmer and shake, the slightly deranged vocals shriek, wail, scream and, for some reason hint of The B-52s. But across all 14 tracks – including the studio outtake ‘Critical Mass’ that ends the album – there is not a note wasted, as each track arrives, puts the boot in, and then promptly gets off before the rozzers show up. The Voltaires sound authentic and yet manage to exude an unpretentious sense of humour. The press blurb, for instance, describes with Lennon-esque wit how “After several failed attempts to construct a singer out of beetroot and string, the weary musical heart of The Voltaires purchased Gareth Williams for six bob from Schofields department store on The Headrow and set about crafting some songs using the imaginations”.

The imagination at the heart of The Voltaires seem unrestricted by the parameters of their garage walls, crafting placeless, timeless garage grunge. Although if you need specifics, it is indeed West Yorkshire 2013.


 Release Date 01/04/2013 (This Is Art Recordings)

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Simon is a writer, broadcaster and countercultural investigator. Over the last 15 years he has written for everyone from The Guardian to Loaded magazine, presented television for Rapture TV and hosted radio programs for the likes of Galaxy. He has also found time to earn a Masters Degree in Novel Writing and write three books (a collection of journalism, a guidebook to Ibiza and one on financial planning for young people – the most varied publishing career it’s possible to have) and establish and run a PR company, Pad Communications, looking after a range of leisure and lifestyle clients.He currently splits his time between researching his PhD at Leeds University, looking into various countercultural movements; consulting freelance for PR clients; writing for the likes of Marie Claire in Australia, The Big Issue and the Manchester Evening News, where he reviews concerts, theatre and is their Pub & Bar Editor. He is also broadcaster, appearing regularly on Tony Livesey’s late night 5Live show for the BBC, and also for BBC Radio Manchester Gourmet Night food and drink show.Simon’s main focus has been music and travel. His career has included editing Ministry of Sound’s magazine in Ibiza for two summers and also writing two long-running columns for DJmagazine – ”Around The World in 80 Clubs” (which took him everywhere from Beijing to Brazil, Moscow to Marrakech) and “Dispatches From The Wrong Side”. A collection of the latter was published in the UK and US as the book Discombobulated, including tales as varied as gatecrashing Kylie Minogue’s birthday party, getting deported from Russia, having a gun held to his head by celebrity gangster Dave Courtney and going raving in Ibiza with Judith Chalmers. He has recently written for the likes of Red magazine, Hotline, Clash, Tilllate, Shortlist and the Manchester Evening News. Pad Communications has recently consulted for clients as varied as Manchester nightclubs and New Zealand toy companies.On a personal note, Simon is a Londoner who left the capital at the age of 18 and never looked back. He sees himself as a citizen of the global dancefloor having lived in Sydney, Los Angeles, Ibiza and Amsterdam. However his life is now rather more sedentary. After all his adventures he bumped into and subsequently married his highschool sweetheart from their North London Grammar. They now live in Stockport with their four children and four chickens, trying to live the good life. Simon recently turned 40 and is steadfastly refusing to have a midlife crisis – as in, growing a ponytail and buying a shiny red sports car.OK, maybe he’ll buy the sports car…