Sometimes a little bit of wonderful drops into the inbox and so it was with this album from Glacials. A serendipitous bit of six degrees of separation – Glacials are chums with the ever wonderful Tessellators, themselves pals with the Peeblemeister of (the currently resting but resplendent) Bravo Brave Bats – they somehow got to me, and how pleased I am that they did.
The London quintet is comprised of almost completely (sorry Kenneth you don’t quite qualify!) exotically named chaps; Jaemi Zahra-Hall on guitars and electronics, Kenneth Joseph also on guitars, Sen Xu drums, the enigmatic Ozon on bass and Kathryn Mae providing the vocals. The new album/EP, We are Serious and We Mean It, (incidentally recorded with David Jackson on bass and Arielle Renwart on vocals) has been out for a few days and can be streamed through their Bandcamp site where it can also be purchased, including a limited edition clear 12″ vinyl version.
Self-described as post-rock, math-rock and shoegaze, they are in truth all and none of these, yes there is a touch of Mogwai in there, a little nod here and there to the guitar style so peerlessly championed by Tristan Dingemans, but there is also a bit of a punk echo beneath the sheen and class of the sound, a splendid squelchy bass beneath the layers of soaring guitar and a whiff of Souxsie-meets-Cocteau Twins in the vocals that adds a distinctive twist; a potent and satisfying combination.
There is much to enjoy here in the twenty five minutes that the set runs to, not least the rather wonderful Appreciator, with its glorious distorted opening, that morphs into (ride it like a cowboy) – I have no idea what the brackets signify – both of which act as a counterbalance to tracks like the ethereal and swooning Sweet Tooth Pink Wrist (the engaging video by Tyler Hurd embedded below)
They may be Glacials by name but not by nature, a thrilling and warm-hearted ride of accomplished musicality and purposeful punch. A head-filling sound as recorded music, you can only wonder how great this might all sound in a live setting.