Wednesday, 23 November 2011

REVIEW: Civil Civic - Rules

The debut full length album from UK/Australian instrumental duo Civil Civic has arrived and it's killer. After teasing the world with a couple of singles, Rules reveals the band in their full glory as an outfit to get even deeper into and obsessed with.  It's not just that the tracks are catchy or addictive - which they are, incessantly - more that subsequent listens continue to excite and surprise even though you know what's coming, a quality that marks a record out as some kind of classic. Familiarity often falsely lulls people into assessing an album as great over time, but the longer you spend re-spinning these tracks the more joyous they seem to become. 

Deadly serious riffs and rhythm shifts are shot through with a sense of humour, starting off with Airspray's bastardised daytime tv show theme softening you up for the drop into ten tracks of guitar vibration that shake your core into elation.  Run Overdrive lives up to its name with a freewheeling riff saturated in noise and an upward spirally melody. Urgency is they heartbeat of many of these tracks - Street Trap, Grey Nurse,
Less Unless - all mid-to fast paced, none of them physically cantering along at breakneck hardcore paces, yet all of them carrying the momentum as if they were. It's the vapour trails of fuzz they leave behind that create the tangible illusion. Lights On A Leash sounds likes an Andrew WK party track minus the vocal exhortations to free-spiritness, but feel free to add the actions along too it. It's Krill displays the band's abilities at agile musicianship, built from sweeping melodies of danceably melancholic jangle it sounds undeniably like the kind of Smiths tune Morrisey's curmudgeonly outsider psyche forbade Johnny Marr to write. Mayfield presages the end with a small moment of distant countrified wide-blue-yonder stretching spacious calm before the gritty and somehow even wider-eyed Slack Year slowly, casually denoates and implodes slow motion stadium riffs one after the other, layering synths over guitars then guitars over synths in a sighing heap of cathartic resolution.

All funded by fan donations prior to pressing, the album is now out on digital d/l, 12" or CD all from their Bandcamp.  Yes, self-released and unsigned, but surely not for long.

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