One Unique Signal: Aether (Genepool)
Available November 11th 2013
Underground noiseniks One Unique Signal’s second album is rather good….. writes Joe Whyte.
Stoner rock. Psychedelia. Noise. Prog. Call it what you will but London based five piece One Unique Signal have made a record that transcends mere pigeonholing.
Aether is ten tracks of dense, multilayered guitar apocalypse, with pulsing neo-psychedelic tendencies. The opening song (and first single), Luna Attractions, arrives in a heady blaze of downtuned, careening chords with a bassline loping along like Sonic Youth meets Prince. These guys clearly like their effect pedals and some of the layered sounds here are downright alarming in their intensity. Vocals and lyrics are all Marychain melody and Slint nonchalance. Ending in a blaze of feedbacking squall, as an introduction to an album, it’ll do just fine.
The following track, A Beginning, is slower but with little let up in the crescendo of noise. Don’t be mistaken; there’s a sense of melody at large beneath the baritone, drawled vocals, droning guitars and circuitous rhythms and whilst not in any way allied to the whimsy of 60’s psych, One Unique Signal understand the power of repetition as well as any flower powered acid casualty.
Amplitude is a lighter, if no less punishing, song. Vocals are voiceover style and reminded me of The Scars song Your Attention Please which actually encouraged me to dig out that old 7″ single. Guitars soar, drums thump and the bass guitar holds it all down with a snaking figure.
Seed takes the tempo back up again with chiming, slashing chords atop the drummers racing heartbeat-pulse. Spacemen 3 and Spiritualized are the obvious touchstones here and the lysergic legacy of the former particularly informs Aether.
A Ribbon Snake is another less frantic song and the backward guitars are a nice touch amidst the Thurston Moore-at-his-most-melodic twists of the track. The bass is slightly reminiscent of Steve Hanley from the Fall and is so at times throughout the album.
The title track ends the album and is a thunderous, sinister beast with howls of anguish laced through the grooves. Members of the band have played with Damo Suzuki and the unrelenting drive of Aether has clear echoes of krautrock throughout.
All words by Joe Whyte. More writing by Joe on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive.