Alternative music reviews

This Et Al

Pigs Make Children Sick Jan 2006

This is one side joint 7" only release as part of the XTra Mile records Unsigned set of releases of new music. In comparison to the first three singles, this is relaxed stuff fromthe Leeds/Bradford. For any other band it would be a helter-skelter journey. It starts out with approaching menacing guitar notes, breaks into heavy heavy marching style chords and then swoops and dives into unexpected places. This Et Al are very much their own band who have left their influences behind and are forging something unique and inspiring.

I am really going to have to make more effort to figure the lyrics out - I need to know what these songs are about. But then there the attraction of just immersing myself in the exhortation and anxiety and not over-analysing. I can at least make up my own story about catapults and friends who think they are demi-Gods.

Adzuki (the other side of the single) have a muscular distorted guitar approach on the track You Are The Answer. The vocals are a bit anthemic for me but there's some nice feedback. It takes a brave band to be on the same record as This Et Al these days.

 
 
Wardens Nov 2005

The purveyors of pure nervous energy are back with another single (out 28th November 2005) Wardens / Rotary Queen. The title track is the most energetic and passionate exposition of rock music since ...well, since their last single actually. Imagine being on a skateboard and hooking onto the back of a bus - getting dragged along at speeds where you have control, swinging out into the other side of the road on the corners - that is the only way I can describe listening to this record.

Now, I'm not much of a dancer. Only on a few occasions have I been so captured by a band that I just throw myself into the fray (Carter USM, Nirvana, Violent Femmes, Dub Sex). This Et Al have me dancing around my flat, dancing when I sit down writing this. I really believe that there should be a message on the M6 motorway signs

DRIVERS - THINK - DON'T LISTEN TO THIS ET AL WHILE DRIVING. BE SAFE. BE CAREFUL.

Oh shit, this is a review - I'm meant to describe the music, tell you who it sounds like, describe it in terms of genre. I can't get beyond my own feelings. If you force me, I'll tell you that I haven't heard anything as energising as this since Lemonade by Chokebore in 1985. Means nothing to you but plenty to me. If you don't understand what I'm saying when you hear this band, then you are so close to permanent anaesthesia that you might as well join the Civil Service.

 
You've Driven For Miles Sep 2005

Things have certainly changed since my first review of a This Et Al demo. They have grown into a hell of a band. A major contribution to the Dance To The Radio compilation and a shared single featuring the song He Shoots Presidents have alerted me to their emergence into the first division of British Indie. They are in a hurry and everything about You've Driven For Miles & Not Remembered A Thing tells you that - four drumstick clicks and they are in full flow and after three minutes it ends suddenly. A breathless pace with attack guitar not heard since the great days of Sonic Youth. The vocals are simply amazing, down in mix so that they can be taken as simply a melodic instrument but no instrument can convey such passion.

You are strongly advised to pop over to the This Et Al website and watch their video for this song. If you find the helter skelter contusion of the song too much to begin with then watch the band throw their visual version at you. It somehow made even more sense when I saw the nervous insistence of the film. After listening to this single, I would advise 10 minutes lying down in a dimly lit room.

 
Police Officer Demo Dec 2003

A Demo CD with three tracks to give a taster of This Etal. Very much from the stable of Radiohead (and Muse) which is a problem for me since Radiohead lost me after the wonderful Pablo Honey. This Etal are a young band who still wear their influences on their sleeves (and not my favourite influences) but behind it they play guitar based rock with a good deal more muscle than the Oxford boys and I like that aspect a lot. There's a power here in the music that only a young an enthusiastic band could produce. A bit less faffing about with semi-falsetto vocals would help because these boys can really play. I don't think This Etal should be aiming at the Radiohead crown, it was always a tarnished item that could only fit one head. They have a feel for composition and soundscapes that could lead them more towards the Sonic Youth direction with an English twist. Conclusion: promising.


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