Alternative music reviews


Aurora Avenue September 2003

Solanoid are from Darlington but sing in American – so much so that they even talk about ‘Math’ rather than Maths on Class of ‘84. The cover shows a US road sign and until I read the blurb I assumed they were from across the pond. No hint of Darlington at all – there’s no ‘Uptown’ there unless it’s changed very much since I was last there. I’m old and jaded enough to spend my time just to go on about authenticity and the decline of British culture, but I also find much of British Indie to be a bit twee and insular so I shouldn’t criticize Solanoid for stealing from their influences (and mine).

The thing is, this album is just so energetic and exciting. There isn’t a dud track on it. It’s a sort of combination of a teenage Sonic Youth and everything that Nu-Metal should be but mostly isn’t. It’s high-octane guitar music and there are moments when I feel some of the same exhilaration that Daydream Nation inspired. The Mosh Pit was made for music such as this – teenage concerns with a wall of guitar sound. The first track January 14 has treated vocals and even a suggestion of a guitar noise like John Cale’s Venus In Furs viola (such a nice touch). University is Sonic Youth but without the Art-Rock attitude. If you want to hear great guitar noise, sonic attack, and a modern punky attitude then try Solanoid.

So, I’m saying it lacks some originality (old person’s view) - but with music as good as this it really doesn’t matter. All my initial forebodings disappeared with a few listens. It gets better every time I hear it. For me, it’s one of those moments like when I first saw Therapy? Or Carter USM live – a little bit of revelation in my life and a little bit of ringing in my ears.

Dinosaur Jr
Sonic Youth
Bill Callahan
Jeffrey Lewis
Florence & The Machine
Resonance Association
The Roe Family Singers
The Peter Parkers

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