Sunday 4 June 2017

Under - Slick (Album Review)

Release date: May 31st 2017. Label: APF Records. Format: CD/DD

Slick – Tracklisting

1.Mirth Of Crows 02:43
2.Innards 04:57
3.Tended Ones 04:14
4.Tip Creature 03:56
5.Home 03:27
6.Slump 05:11
7.Straw Man 03:30
8.Worst To Come 04:50
9.Below In The Wreck 06:04

Band Members:

Andy Preece – Drums and Vocals
Matt Franklin – Bass and Vocals
Simon Mayo – Guitar and Vocals


So here we have the debut release on APF Records.

For those of you not in the know APF is the brainchild and result of two years behind the scenes work of Andrew "Satan" Field.

Whilst we don't know each other particularly well (we met once at a Greenhorn show in Manchester and we were both VERY drunk) I know well enough the Mr Field is a staple of the North West scene and a HUGE supporter of underground music across the UK full stop.

He's pretty much the kinda guy you want running a label. Someone who's passionate about the music and not just looking to make a quick buck without giving anything back. He's already got an impressive roster with the likes of Blind Haze and Bong Cauldron on the books.

But this review is really about Under and their (as far as I know debut) release Slick.
The first thing that grabs you about it is the incredible artwork courtesy of Alan O'Neil. It's bold and garish and pretty much a neon nightmare. It's fucking awesome is what it is.

Pressing click on the first track "A Mirth Of Crows" I was a little taken by surprise by what came out of the speakers. In fact I even checked that the download was correct. It was. I'm not going to give too much away but it's gloriously mad and I promise you'll enjoy it.

Slick is by no means any easy release to digest. By the time I'd listened through the first time I wasn't sure. There was plenty that I loved and plenty that I wasn't sure about. But with repeated listens I started to get it. Like really get it.

Standout tracks for me being "Home" "Straw Man" and my favourite the brooding and oppressive "Tip Creature"

The album as a whole features elements of disgusting sludge, mad time signature's and harsh (and really fucking harsh) vocals. There's no fat on any of the tracks. Everything that's there is there for a reason.

I would liken this record to an aural equivalent of a season of The Walking Dead. There's a few bits and bobs that initially you're not sure about, but the conclusion not only makes it worth it, but puts the bits you weren't sure about into context and fully appreciate it as a whole.

Sometimes you put a record on and immediately you're into it, but over time that initial impact fades and it doesn't live up to all that early promise. Sometimes a record, works its way into your subconscious and crawls under (you see what I did there?) your skin and firmly implants itself there. And that's what Under have done with this record.

I'd fully recommend you pick up a copy as soon as you can...

Words by Simon Ross Williams

Thanks to APF Records for the promo. Slick is now available to buy on CD/DD now via APF Records.