Asleep Beneath Volcanoes - EP01

Owain Paciuszko 24/05/2009

Rating: 4/5

Two-piece instrumental-electronic act Asleep Beneath Volcanoes hit the highs of such luminaries as Orbital and Leftfield on this imaginative three track. Water builds up slowly with a thudding drum beat and insistent guitars before a Tim Burgess type vocal rambles before a chant of 'Water, Water Water!' takes over. It's that rare thing in lengthy, electronica something fun and carefree. Then a squall of noise barrages the ears to near standing-by-the-speaker deafening levels, if you close your eyes you can smell the festival.

Heavy Legs starts off with a clickety-clack sound - like a dance remix of the score from Atonement - before throwing in a synth reminiscent of The Chemical Brothers Star Guitar. It's spacey and practically shines a succession of multi-coloured night club lights in your eyes. The great thing about Asleep Beneath Volcanoes music is it's instantly evocative of different times, places, feelings and things; it throws you into a trancey wig-out one moment before dropping you into a slightly-too-boozey festival rave.

Holiday sounds like a performance art re-enactment of one of those 'Holidays From Hell' stories where someone is staying next to a building site, except this re-enactment has been co-directed by William Orbit and David Lynch. It's another left-turn for the band into kind of industrialised electro, and was a track (like Water) to be found on an earlier promo I received from the band. Like that earlier version it falters by not building towards a finale quite as satisfying as one would hope, instead slowing to a close rather than erupting with the vocalist droning 'And drinking makes me tired...', it's an apt sound for the sentiment but a slightly disappointing finish to a strong EP.

The tweaks made to the tracks have pushed them on from their earlier demo, Asleep Beneath Volcanoes are an interesting and experimental act with a lot of potential and are definitely worth a play or two.