By Laura Audio
Sounding like five tracks fresh from the rehearsal rooms this demo announces another exciting project from Kevin McGonnel of And None of Them Knew They Were Robots.
The opening bars of "Parked and Centred" are as uncompromising and uncomfortable as the Robots ... with a naggingly harsh vocal track that might want to re-record itself at a later date. But even in this track a new direction asserts itself with enthusiastic confidence. We're in lyrical territory with rolling guitar phrases and nudgingly protective bass and drums.
Track two "Hello" has a meltingly warm acoustic guitar intro with matter-of-fact harmonics that (for once in the world) sit easily in the delightful tune. The voice is gentled down and a second vocal line brings in a ghostly regret. Percussion is no more than tapping. Very good.
"Elizabethan Mix" starts to bring the three-piece band sound together in a distinctive way.
"Plus Plus Plus" has a power and dignity that overwhelms any doubts from earlier tracks. Minimal, but completely captivating. Subtly doubled up vocals and a delicious cello part from Jennifer Chubb over a gently walking bass add up to a perfectly realised 2 minute 24 second classic of understated passion. You must have this song.
"Hey Sailor" carries the same mood and extends the reach. There is some melodically off-kilter tussling between guitar, bass and Alvin Lee Ryan's drumming that I find irresistible. When the cello comes in we have the final ingredient for a deeply satisfying piece of music. It sounds tentative and only just finished, and has a perfection because of it. More fussiness in the studio and longer spent on planning the changes and the layers might have killed it.
So, excitement all round. .Laura Audio. are on the verge of something that is both intelligent and accessible - that pop transforming possibility that the indie world dreams will one day Vanquish All Pap. (but which we secretly hope will stay our own jealous pleasure)