Saturday, 9 January 2010

Nedry - Condors

Monotreme Records, a label that have always been happy to impress me with their choice of acts. Never eager to sign mainstream artists to make a quick buck, they seem more than happy to release music that they can see the talent in and acts that they have nurtured into more well known musicians. You only have to mention 65daysofstatic these days and you see people open their mouths with excitement and a following comment of 'Yeah they are amazing!', not to mention Jeniferever, a band I absolutely adore, who were recently snapped up by Monotreme to record and release their most beautiful and awe inspiring work to date in 'Spring Tides'. Both acts that have only gained in popularity through their releases on Monotreme.

It seems fit then that Nedry would release their debut album 'Condors' on Monotreme. A record that is eager to show the trios versatility in moving from an Ableton friendly Four Tet sound into territory that 65daysofstatic happily own and finally drifting into Portishead and early Goldfrapp meadows. Opening track 'A42' tells you exactly what to expect from Nedry with its introduction of fast glitchy beats and dirty bass sounds but constantly allowing room for melody with the slightly hidden in the mix melodic guitar and synth work while vocalist Ayu allows her haunting Bjork-esque vocals to darken the track even more so. This isn't memorable or even mainstream listening for the most part, aside from the stupidly named 'Squid Cat Battle' that has a bass sample and vocal melody that managed to put Goldfrapp in the limelight and there is no reason why it couldn't help Nedry to do the same but it is hugely endearing. 'Scattered' is probably the reason why Monotreme Records signed Nedry and it will most definitely win people over when Nedry support 65daysofstatic on their next tour as it is exactly what we would expect from the vocal-less rockers: heavy guitars and glitchy drumming sometimes making way for melodic guitar work but rarely letting go of any intensity and despite the lack of vocals on 'Scattered', it is a harrowing listen. 'Condors' is very much in the ilk of Battles. At times, you really don't know what is going on or how people could create something like this but you can't help but like it all the same, while 'Swan Ocean' and 'Where The Dead Birds Go' seem to merely exist as to tie the record up into a satisfyingly bleak ending.

As I will be watching Nedry support 65daysofstatic in May, I am intrigued as to how well the trio can make the album work on a stage. 'Condors' isn't without its faults, I can't see myself coming back to it every day, addicted and just wanting one more listen but I can appreciate that this is one of the better debut albums I've heard since my reviewing started in 2008 and for that alone, I have to recommend Nedry and their trip-hop electronica weirdness.


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