There’s always bands who like to turn the fuzztone up, step on the phase pedal and blast off into hyperspace, and there’s so many bands around doing the shoegazy dream pop thing, it’s often hard to find the decent stuff. So, thank your lava lamps for Steeple Remove, a band from Rouen in France, who have been making their warped dreamy sounds since 1997 and now on their fifth album, find themselves moulding their ideas into new formats with a touch of krautrock, post punk spaciousness, dub rhythms, and electronic drones. Their first album, is now long out of print and was released on the same French label, Sordide Sentimentale, who did the early releases by Joy Division, Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV. Then they disappeared, and since then albums have been about as regular as a Northern Rail train during a strike in winter. This album was therefore quite a surprise landing only four years after the last one, and although they’ve moved on from 2014’s album ‘Position Normal’ they’ve brought more drones, more rhythms, less vocal harmonies, but created a sound that’s more spacious and suits their Can and Neu-esque song writing style brilliantly. ‘Oval-Strii’ is awash with that delay and reverb sound which My Bloody Valentine made their staple sound, with fuzzed guitar chords forming a sonic audio couch for the fuzzed lingering guitar and moog notes to sit on comfortably, then ‘Blood Veins’ has pounding drums and frontman Arno Van-Colen telling a tale that sounds like a cross between The Birthday Party and The Horrors, verging on gothic meets punk meets shoegaze. ‘Set’ forms into a tune which reverberates with melodic drones and doesn’t sound a million miles away from Moon Duo, which is no bad thing either, whereas ‘In Dreams’ has lingering guitar notes which glide in and out of the speakers. ‘In The Waves’ is an epic tune with more ethereal guitars and Van-Colen’s vocals echoing around, sounding similar to Can’s experimental motorik rhythms and drones. Over the years, they’ve supported German legends Faust, Can’s frontman Damo Suzuki, and Wire amongst others, and their hypnotic guitar sounds interspersed with blasts of psych, post punk and dub, compliment those bands perfectly. It may have taken me five albums to discover them, but now I have, a back catalogue splurge is definitely on the way! A great album of mesmerising rhythms and dreamy guitar heaven.

Steeple Remove – Vonal Axis: Out Now (Fuzz Club Records)

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From the early days of creating handmade zines, in a DIY paper and glue style, interviewing bands around town, then pestering Piccadilly Records to sell them, to writing for various independent mags such as Chimp and Ablaze, writing about the music I love is still a great passion. After testing the music industry waters in London with stints at various labels, being back in my hometown again, writing about this city’s vibrant music scene is as exciting as ever. All time favourite bands include Sonic Youth, Nick Cave, Patti Smith although anything from electro to folk via blues and pysch rock will also do nicely too. A great album, is simply a great album, regardless of whatever musical cage you put it in.