‘It’s so unfeasibly unheard of for a support act to upstage their supposed superiors of any given gig, though Leah Pritchard’s Empty Pools indubitably did so when they played second fiddle to Menomena late on last year. They blew ‘em clean out the water then and this morning their forthcoming double-sider – due March 11th on Battle Worldwide Recordings – has gone one better by providing two further wholly immersive experiences.
Its prioritised side, Small Talk, proves as impactive now and on record as it did then and live: Pritchard’s vocal rocks unperturbed atop rippled plashes of trebly guitar and skiffle rhythms; the alluring calm at the thick of furious tempest. Though as the chorus explodes into view and the quartet veer off leaving lyrics of breakneck velocities for dead, they unveil a captivating rage that’s as cohesive as it is rampant – united in raucousness as Rival Schools once were by fate. However where it here differs in aesthetic to how it did sound back in November concerns the unprecedented inclusion of seesawing strings which, as they waltz into the heady mélange, tether the track to an ever invigorating unpredictability.
Flipping the proverbial page and the literal plastic, and you’ve Televised – a rambunctious, full throttle hurtle through ska intonations and an overwhelmingly thrashy overall impression that’s quietly evocative of Unified Theory’s one and indeed only eponymous LP. “Do you hunger for a clean slate?” Pritchard sneers though realistically, everything they’ve chalked up thus far has been impeccably presented and pulsating start through finish. The extraordinary Exploded View aside, it’s Small Talk that may yet prove to be their trump.’
With the publishing of our review of Zammuto beneath a bloody ceiling last Friday, we’ve tied up November live in London. Reviews, photos, and so forth cover anyone and everyone from Animal Collective to Zun Zun Egui; Bella Union label mates the Dirty Three to Death Grips. In amongst all that we caught Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Melody’s Echo Chamber, and Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti in the immoderately lengthy moniker department. See; read; relive; vicariously experience below:
Dots & Dashes’ November 2012.
‘And thoughts then automatically cock back to Empty Pools, and their fascination with detonations, gunpowder plottings, and so forth. Branded “a really legitimate rock’n’roll band” by Menomena themselves, the Bristol ensemble blew ‘em clean out the water and whilst tonight’s headliners seem increasingly devoid of invention, their understudies are brimming with confidence and filling with a most crystalline promise.’
Dots & Dashes review the two live in London…
‘Despite bleating of not believing in “second chances” on this, the return of Portland’s Menomena Heavy is as Heavy Does is lifted from their forthcoming fifth, Moms. Expected to wash up on these shores October 8th on Barsuk Records, it’s an astonishingly accomplished and highly accesible reintroduction to some of the finest genre subverters in serving memory as the trio harmonise of hefty branches “hanging from my fucked up family tree.” Thematically concerning familial miscommunication, musically Heavy is as Heavy Does is a cinematic jam redolent of what’d surely have happened had Albarn mucked in on Sébastian Tellier’s Politics LP of ‘04, affecting balladry eventually enshrouded by psych solos and slide guitars evocative of Super Furry Animals’ Love Kraft record of related epoch. As though the welcome return of a reclusive yet genuinely beloved relative, this one.’