This is a review of "Baby Machine" recorded by This Et Al. The review was written by Colin Burrill in 2007.
After appearing on a Maida Vale session for BBC Radio 1 earlier in the year and completing a hectic national tour schedule, I think it would be safe to assume that This Et Al are a band clearly going places.
Although the Leeds based outfit’s debut album is not officially released until early 2007, a limited amount of advance copies have been made available. Recorded with local producer Richard Green (of Ultrasound and The Somatics fame) in his all-analogue Studio, Baby Machine consists of feedback drenched, alternating heavy and soaring guitar lines and crashing drums. Lyrically, this is one hell of an angry affair with subjects such as betrayal, police corruption, domestic violence and drug abuse all getting a mention, and it’s delivered via the loose and adaptable vocal style of Et Al frontman Wu (whilst baring an uncanny resemblance to that of ¡Forward, Russia! lead vocalist Tom Woodhead).
Highlights include the relentless ‘Warden’, which carries a major hook in the chorus, the recent single ‘Sabbatical’ with its momentary lush soundscapes and ‘You’ve Driven For Miles’ which features a euphoric blend of epic/distorted guitar.
In the end, Baby Machine is a dynamic and explosive take on the post punk/rock sound that has already taken Leeds counterparts ¡Forward, Russia! into the NME’s Top 40 Records Of 2006, and it’s a further sign of continuity from the emergent Leeds scene. The only negative issue (from what is otherwise a solid debut) is that on a national level questions may arise. Are the record buying public ready for another band similar to the likes of ¡Forward, Russia!? The first half of 2006 would certainly suggest so, but with the rapidly evolving market it’s surely a time to wait and see. Lets hope 2007 brings This Et Al the credit they deserve.