Jasurp (no, I have no idea) is the latest output from Damn Robot! , side project of Winchester brothers Tom and Rob Honey; the former of Good Weather for an Airstrike (last release written about here, and before that here) and the later of Inachus. The hour long set is released on Hawk Moon Records, via their Bandcamp pages, as a ‘free’ download (but you would have to be super tight not to offer up a few earth pounds), it can be streamed from their Soundcloud page, and physical copies are available whilst they last.
Guiltily ignorant of Inachus material my comparison must be with be GWFAA whose atmospheric material I have scribbled about afore. Damn Robot! is of course different, a bit more regular band like and with added vocals. But running though there is still the lush arrangements and the carefully wrought electronics wrapping around the ‘real’ instrumentation.
The One Who Knocks is an early favourite from the twelve track set, with the insistent but gentle piano line, a slight jazzy feel to it and some nice pushed back vocals over the washes of guitar sound before it bursts into life later on.
A Continuing Source of Inspiration manages to bring together a nice little drone, some film or TV soundtrack samples, some delicate vocals and a nice little bit of tasty guitar to boot – all combining to make a super satisfying track. It’s moments like these that make you feel that the combination of the brothers approaches yields something even greater than that which they may produce on their own.
There a number of tracks, often sandwiched between those that are for me the greatest successes of the whole set, which tread a more well trodden path. Not to say that they aren’t pleasing in their own way but they are a little more traditional ambient affairs. To be fair perhaps they act as useful counterpoints or springboards for the welcome punch of such as A Drop in the Ocean.
Overall I have rather fallen from Damn Robot! it wasn’t quite what I expected to be sure but, all the better for that unexpected surprise. I had expected to be lulled and soothed a la GWAA and in part I was, but I was energised and uplifted like with the soaring The Gentlemen Callers or the Sigur Ros flavoured This Things I Believe.
I have a chum, coincidentally also a Winchester lad, who produces some fine, raucous punk-inflected music in his current band. But he is also capable of finer, nuanced, slightly darker material that still delivers a solid punch. I can’t wait for him to take the leap of faith (you listening there?!) and produce something that represents the sort of step change that Jasurp feels like it might be for the Honey brothers.