Thursday, February 27, 2014

Postcode – Zebratronic (Small Bear Records) Review

One of the main joys of the internet for me is the ability to stumble across new music and then get directly to the source via few clicks of a mouse. I love Soundcloud and Bandcamp for allowing you to listen to tracks and purchase directly (or almost directly) from the band of artist.

My latest discovery (via an email) are Postcode. Postcode are based in the Isle Man, not a renowned hot bed of musical activity. I have a friend who grew up there in the 1980s and at the time it all seems to have been all heavy metal, motorbikes and the odd gig by Dumpys Rusty Nuts. It’s came as a pleasant surprise that Postcode are not metal and they don’t mention motorbikes! Zebratronic is the third LP from the band.

On Zebratronic the band (Mike Daugherty music and Marie Reynolds words and vocals) blend fizzing synth lines, brittle drums, warm distortion and plaintive vocals into a heady and beguiling mix.  It reminds me of dark pop hues of Garbage, the stark melodic intent of Client or the bruised electronic goth of Curve.

The opening track “Back by Dawn” starts with a brooding Joy Division bassline and a crisp rattling machine drum loop before Marie Reynolds vocals become the perfect foil for the music, uncoiling slowly before the blizzard of guitars kick in around 2:20.  Dodge City is an amphetamine rush of overloaded guitars and drowning vocals, Pound is built around a punch drunk drum pattern, snappy bass & guitar hook and razor blade guitars. The epic Resurrection clocks in at 7:18 and shifts through the sonic gears from its jangling guitar intro, via a sprightly snare roll hook to blasts of guitar sludge and distorted vocals and an ebbing slow burning ambient bridge before the sonic onslaught returns. Autumn is a real gem, a twinkling music box melody bouncing on top of circling chord sequence, swirling sweet caramel multi-tracked vocals and a sly infection rhythm box. Imagine early New Order fronted by Romy Madley Croft and you get the idea. It would make a great single.There is an extra track on the CD a great cover version but I will let you discover the pleasures of that yourself.

The CD is released via Small Bear Records label and you can order it directly via their Bandcamp website. Mine came with a free copy of a Small Bear compilation, free badge and a post it note from the band.  The CDs are very well packaged with great quality artwork and finishing. My daughter loved the cover of the Zebratronic CD. At a £5.00 it really is a steal.  All this great music for less than the price of a decent cup of coffee and a muffin.  


Unknown said...

Hi, this is Marie, thanks for the great review, glad you like the music and my husband Phil is made up about the mention of the packaging, he does all the artwork for us. (He also used to be in a band called The Problem who once supported Dumpys at the Villa Marina in TT week).

Tony Heywood said...

I am glad you liked the review I really liked the LP. Please feel free to use it on your site (a link would be nice).

My mate used to live in Port Erin and moved back to the mainland in 1988. His Dad still lives near Douglas. I have never been but would love to visit one day.

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