The Sailplanes - A Second, Or Ten Years Later

Angus Reid 10/07/2007

Rating: 4.5/5

Let's be clear about this, The Sailplanes are not easy listening, and definitely not something you'd put on in the background over a candlelit dinner. Theirs is a taut, aggressive sound that demands attention from the outset, and doesn't let you go until it's good and ready. Though it would be easy to make Sonic Youth comparisons, there is a distinct Englishness to The Sailplanes, aided by the genuine vocals of Tim and Stacey - none of that Lily Allen styled mockney here thank you very much. The attack of two blisteringly sharp guitars coupled with distinct lack of bassist makes this a fuzzy, sharp attack on the ears from the outset - with Tim's guitar on one side and Stacey's on the other this is a live-sounding, raw record that at once has space, definition, seperation and togetherness and unity. As Violent Storm relaxes into a brief vocal section there's just about time to breathe before it's off again.

The first real let up in the assault comes in the form of the dark, sparse and noirish Photograph The Past, for me a stand out song on this album as it loiters in the dark, waiting before finally delivering a stream of invective in another corruscating blast of serrated guitar noise. It's probably worth pointing out that this album is only 20 minutes long, with the longest song clocking in at an 'epic' 3:27. This, of course, has the effect of leaving the listener desperate for more as each song reaches the point of familiarity just as it draws to a close, keeping you hanging on for the next. To cram so much darkness and intensity into just 20 minutes is a feat that not every band could pull off, and indeed most don't. Luckily though, this is The Sailplanes.