Leeds Music Scene

The Ace Catastrophe by Mexican Alibi

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Reviewed on 1st November 2003.


The Ace Catastrophe

By Mexican Alibi

"I've seen people and I've seen places/ But I'll never see familiar faces / I'll be your alibi and you'll be mine / we'll be fine in the countryside" are fairly catastrophic lyrics I'll grant you. And Thom's voice is as horribly grating as you can get. But the ace catastrophe we're all hoping for will have to wait while they clear this lorry load of bricks off the CD player.

If the word "angular" has recently started to put you off reading reviews of slightly gnurly guitar bands; and if PR phrases like "Bored with the (...) identikit rock acts lumbering around the local gigging circuit" alarm you; if "Drawing inspiration from Shellac and Fugazi" has started to sound more like a warning than an enticement: then this might not be your record. A lack of surnames is not a good omen either.

Mexican Alibi are a geometry set kind of band from Crosby in Lancashire with numbers and measurements where feelings could be. It isn't a new concept, any more than deliberately ugly vocals are. And it has been used with passion and style over the years. As far as Mexican Alibi are concerned I'm afraid it might be too late to be innovative and still be too soon to be popular.

They can certainly count, and the awkward tempos are tight enough. They're not as dizzyingly sharp as Bilge Pump, nor as athletically tuneful as the late lamented And None of Them Knew They Were Robots. But they're OK at what they do. The trouble is that you do need some communication for tricksy structures to carry. In the case of Mexican Alibi it might be that the message is the structure, and that really isn't too interesting any more. I think the technical term for it is geek rock.

On balance I'd rate this for the samples you could take off it (some great guitar noises) but slate it for the dull compositions whose parts they comprise. If this CD is an experiment in music, then the null hypothesis that unexpected structures bring no new insights is confirmed. Further research will be required.

The top track is the third on the CD (no track listing on the CD, none on the slip cover - brilliant) It's short, it has hypnotic chord chugging on a clangy guitar and a call/response structure with a busy percussion that builds to a noisy climax. But at just 2 minutes 40 it still manages to sound too long.

I think they're visiting Leeds in the New year and suspect the live show might be more rewarding than the CD. The website has pointless Flash additions that make information hard to find. Very annoying.



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On 16th June 2004 at 17:50 Anonymous 2727 wrote...

good band, the cd does not do them justice and the tracklisting is on a little bit of card inside the cd.



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