By Various Artists
To celebrate their 50th release, Leeds based label Dance To The Radio are releasing a series of four twelve inch singles. Volume one, track one, is the debut release of Leeds' Wonderswan, 'Hey Nature.'
Frontman Michael's fuzzy vocals unfurl lazily across a scuzzed-up backdrop of buzzy riffs, as this song moves from the steady fug of the verses, to a chorus of marching drumbeats and walls of distortion, shot through with more biting riffs. A scattering of brighter chords puts a final, summery sheen on proceedings, and gives 'Hey Nature' extra character.
'Hey Nature' is a catchy, dreamily vague piece of scuzzy indie-pop, with ingeniously nonchalant vocals that compliment the song perfectly.
Track two is provided by Leeds three piece Broadcast Society. 'Behind Your Back' is in complete contrast to 'Hey Nature,' as breakneck guitars and a relentless cymbal-rattle, drive this song along at a furious pace.
'Behind Your Back' is a thoroughly enjoyable and invigorating listen from the first glimmering riffs, to the final notes. Not only does it tear along, but it strains with barely contained energy, as frontman John Wellby contributes spring-heeled yelps, which are accompanied by some very pointed drumbeats.
Trimmed in bright chords, 'Behind Your Back' is a sparkling, headlong indie-pop rush that'll sweep you along for the ride.
And then, it's time for something completely different, with the broody, black-hearted plod of Pulled Apart by Horses' 'E = Mc Hammer.' Packed full of the bands' distinctive, semi-spoken, semi-spazzcore vocals, 'E = Mc Hammer' delivers a mentallist racket. Ricocheting between painful-sounding, hoarse-throated screeching and rapid-fire yelps, Tom Hudson has a voice to split opinion. He'll either make you fall in love with this song, or switch it off after ten seconds.
Beyond those divisive vocals, 'E = Mc Hammer' alternates between drum-heavy verses and choruses of impossibly black-hearted riffing, topped off with liberal helpings of classy, rock and roll riffs that puts a nicely swaggering finish to Pulled Apart By Horses' clamour. 'E = Mc Hammer' is the sound of barely-contained chaos.
This four track Dance To The Radio compilation draws to a close in unusual fashion, with a version of Bear Hands' 'What A Drag,' remixed by New York's Cale Parks.
The original backing track is replaced by a thumping bass and a snappy electro pulse that feels seriously at odds with the rest of this disc, and also jars against some of frontman Dylan Rau's vocals. However, elsewhere, the electic range of spacey synths draw out the lurking trippiness in Rau's vocals, lyrics and, in particular, that additive, breathless falsetto yelp, transforming it into an even sharper hook.
'What A Drag' is occasionally abrasive, and it isn't the most obvious choice of inclusion on this release, but it's mostly an effectively heady, psychedelic-tinged take on the original.
This four track release is a neat introduction to some of Dance To The Radio's current roster and, judging by the quality of the four tracks, these are four bands we'll be hearing much more from in the future.