Furrowed Brow

With additional personnel and two months of gigging since their live debut, Furrowed Brow has (much to my predication) significantly gained in confidence and cohesion, akin to a unit of conscripts surviving the very skirmishes that would make or break their service. Having a more technically proficient guitarist (albeit with some awkwardness) in turn allows the vocalist to Howard Devoto his way through rather charming lyrics about matters such as killing yourself along with your immediate descendants, embracing dandyism, excessive urination and even matters relating to the great outdoors; typical Mancunian pastimes that all can relate to. The keyboards play the role of giving the lyrics some context, helping to convey these scenarios; brief reminders of ‘Alabama Song’ and Tony Banks in his more artistic days are also welcome.

The rhythmic power is much more emboldened than last time, appearing as though the bipedal drumming and non-plectrum bass playing was a previously-thought-lost concoction re-emerging from a newly translated rune you’d probably find in a dig sight in the Levant. Inadvertent acoustics and close-quarters frequencies aside, the sound is much more favourable on the backing vocals than last time (an important element in timbre contrast), which in conjunction with the chevrons of frequent live performance, would probably lead Commodus into giving them a thumbs up, depending on his mood.

China Moon

Displaying their track ‘Nebula’, it appears this quartet are trying to fuse together sounds in an attempt to satisfy themselves artistically, shifting around into heavier territory that contrasts with the gentle, almost vulnerable tone of the vocalist. Feels as though the instrumental elements are hounding the light-placement of the vocalist into pushing himself to fight them off, thereby generating a sound that rivets the ear drum.

Thankfully they are not as one-dimensional as to keep it cranked to 11, quite the contrary as the guitar’s textures vary from sonically resembling a wind instrument to a jangly-type sound amongst others as they balance out their light and shade pallet; it highlights what dictates this band’s course: the guitar. The indie influences are always a concern but they have the dynamics and sonic intrigue (Eastern scales?) to cast off the shackles of pigeon-holing; I’d definitely like to know how the working title for that particularly song pans out.


Having seen this duo easily attain gold at the notorious Membranes gig in June, the opportunity to see them in a smaller venue perfect for their non-confrontational/could-be-confrontational approach was written on my abstract-journalistic-must-review list. It would be difficult to hypothesize what William Wallace would have done with himself had he in fact lived 700 years past his lifetime, but there is always the possibility that had he opted to become a musician over paladin of Scottish nationalism, he’d sound at least a little bit like Glove.

The stripped back, to-the-point instrumentation alongside a vocal style that has more variation in delivery than a Dulux paint catalogue appears to synchronise with the audience’s ambient awe. They switch back and forth between a bass guitar and a distorted, regular guitar, in tandem with a percussive element provided by the beating of a simple cylinder-type drum-barrel (correct terminology 404); they don’t employ unsavoury tricks or strength in numbers, just the simplicity of harnessing one’s creative energy.

Their piece that involves having the bass line locked in repetition as the vocalist shrills about her registers is the definitive example I can use for what I just mentioned. Taking notes of the subject matter; having a song about assuring a cat not be scared or sitting with your pants in bed are perhaps a welcomed, indirect swipe at the clunky super-seriousness you often come across in the dilute-punk of today. If Gordon Ramsay happened to be nitpicking around the Peer Hat kitchen (reasons unknown) and heard what was happening down below, he’d likely bellow something along the lines of “It’s (expletive) raw!”…

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Angus Rolland

Recent career decisions have compelled me into the journalistic... thing; I could list my literary influences or even debate which 3rd rate beverage has the best economic value per litre (But I won’t). Oh, in addition, I write reviews for the Independents Network.