8 track split album on a limited run of pink and yellow “suck it and see” vinyl.
Release date 26 February 2016
Celebrating the release of this split 12 inch EP on Wrong Way Records, there is a show on the 26th of February 7:30 in Sebright Arms, London! Buy tickets here!
Another show will be on April 30th 8pm at the Chameleon Arts Cafe in Nottingham. Don’t miss it! Booking and gig info here!
Presents For Sally – “An Arms Reach Away” EP
by Estella Rosa
This new PFS EP is, of course, released surprisingly early after the last album Colours & Changes, and on a different label than Saint Marie, but then again, this split EP is a rather unique “friendship project”.
With Colours & Changes we saw a complete and highly polished product. This EP, however, seems to go back to basics, and is much more bare and less poppy. Let’s face it, these days shoegaze seems to have become a commercial hype and numerous pre-fab, formulaic shoegaze-like acts are served like fast-food. It is pretty hard to some discern some durable quality. “An Arms Reach Away” seems to counteract this “sell-out”, so instead of impressing people with mind-blowing layers of guitar effects recorded in a Lynchian manner, most of “An Arms Reach Away” is of a more modest, subtle nature. Opener “An Arms Reach Away”, sees the return of the more raw, grungy side of PFS with echoes of Ride and some obstinate grooves thrown in to make it a catchy classic indie tune: affirmative and celebratory of the underground sound.
“1000 Magic Lands” is in a different league: it challenges the listener but might possibly go unnoticed by un-trained ears. It’s is one of those typical trademark PFS tracks: you have to listen to the entire thing to be able to draw a conclusion and “get” the experience as a whole. It’s a builder, and like a freemason Matt Etherton has been adding bricks and chiselling away at the details of this track until he withdrew, to finally reveal his masterpiece in all its balance and perfection. The song starts with Anna’s crystalline vocals on an ocean of calm and gradually all elements come rolling in one by one like the waves that finally form a sea of melancholy and bliss that draws the listener in, only to drift away again, transient, like all things in life.
The back- to basics theme is pursued in the effortless, steady indie-rocker “Not Young Not Old”, a title clearly showing an aversion to being narrowed down. To bolster this, it has a bit of everything thrown in (psychedelics, grunge, shoegaze) which unfortunately, in this case, becomes a bit of indie cliché in itself. Not that there is anything wrong with the track: strong, catchy composition as ever, but if I would make a novice listen to PFS, I would not particularly play this to represent their potential.
“Perfume Boat” on the other hand, I would definitely play. It’s is a sensual trip, starting off with ambient, gliding loops, pulsating throughout like a heartbeat. Guitars come in slowly, oscillate and increase to become like rapturous screams until the waves of ecstasy come down and the pulse fades and stops. The icing on this sonic delight is that Matt’s voice here has finally come out of its usual cocoon of reverb : bare and vulnerable and more charming than ever. Totally worth it.
93 millionmilesfromthesun “Darkness Inside” EP
by Jenny L. Holland
Doncaster’s 93MMFTS frontman Nick Noble has been friends with PFS ‘s Matt Etherton for a long time before the idea for this split EP project took shape. The overdriven sound of “Darkness Inside” is an nice juxtaposition to the more stripped down sound on “An Arms reach Away“, therefore complementing eachother nicely.
“Darkness Inside” begins by carrying us through a torrential rainstorm called “I’m Waiting“. Heavy guitars crash down, cycling up on and onward, never letting up on the search for cover. As Nick Noble’s vocals emerge, it seems as if waiting is far less romantic and more so sinister than originally implied by the title. Perhaps this kind of waiting is more so anticipating and watching from behind the next corner. When the guitars elevate urgently I can’t escape the feeling as if I am being chased through a wind tunnel. The washed out “ahhs” of the chorus are the only relief from otherwise being drenched, then suddenly – clear skies.
“Darkness Inside” follows with a more introspective/reflective feel. Vocals hum under a chorus of jangling cymbals, calling out to the shadows. Searching guitars melodically lead, but this is a circular path with no end in sight. Instead, the distortion treads below, ebbing and flowing, never quite surfacing. Painfully beautiful as it is, there is no conclusion here. The darkness still lingers within, and the music reflects as so unanswered.
The third song, aptly titled “Fall into the Sky“, is a dangerous ride with the volume up, windows down. Guitars siren in and out, catapulting listeners from their seats to the clouds. Here we are thrown into a haze of chaos that never lets up, nor lets us back down. This is the first time my mind leans to My Bloody Valentine, with more raw vocals and a driving bass line. The bridge shifts immaculately between moans and the sound of the atmosphere being broken apart.
The final track, “Edge of Nowhere“, parades slowly towards us then unleashes a blinding dark crash. Eyes recover and it is Ian Curtis’ melancholic voice resurrected in the verses. When the chorus kicks in the confusion lifts and there is a brief moment of brightness. This is when a seemingly different sounding voice climbs up as the music weighs down. Although ominous, I find myself anticipating that dichotomy – it is reaching past the edge to somewhere I want to be.