We are always complaining about guitar bands’ lack of ambition. In fact, it’s a bit of a personal irritation. So it only seems fair that, when a truly inventive, truly captivating guitar band does come around, we shout about it from the rooftops.
And So I Watch You From Afar (often shortened to the much more manageable ASIWYFA) are old hands. They’ve been releasing records since 2007. They seem to spend their lives touring. They sell out 1,500 capacity venues in in their hometown of Belfast. And suddenly they are about to release one of the most entertaining, imaginative albums of the year.
Gangs is a balls-out, floor-shaking rock record. It is inventive without straying into the navel-gazing territories that are the natural habitat of the post-rock community. It is full of delightful production details. It is played with the sort of fervour that simply cannot be faked. It is one of the best records I have had the pleasure of hearing in a very long time.
”BeautifulUniverseMasterchampion’ is the opening track from Gangs, and it is today’s Song Of The Day. While you’re listening, just remember – this isn’t even the best track on the record.