Substandard – Low Electric City Pulses EP / Global Research Centre

Failsafe [2002]
Two wonderfully hand-packaged releases from local 3-piece Substandard. Best described as an instrumental band with involving guitar textures (Danny Bare), driving bass guitar (Gareth Heta) and funky drumming (Andrew Robbins); they been highly prolific around town this year, and their release party at the dux was the icing on the cake. There’s the 3 (+1 hidden track) EP from earlier in the year, and the full-length debut global research centre which expands on the earlier release with a fuller, more fleshed out sound. The end result is actually pretty close to their live performance, with some stunning subtle guitar drenched in echo and reverb.

Coming from the Hiss Explosion / High Dependency Unit school of guitar-workmanship (creating wonderful cascades of sound from a plethora of toys), its quite evocative stuff. Perfect driving music, the album sweeps from gentle willowing numbers right up to powerful, full-tilt rockers reminiscent of the (now defunct) Subliminals. Highly recommended.

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