Can you handle the excitement? No really, can you? Because there's something profoundly exciting about [B]Fridge[/B]....More on
That's 'Eph' (as in 'f'), and what we're dealing with here in a horribly pretentious way is the idea of motion and freedom. Fridge, you see, are one of those rare bands capable of doing absolutely anything, and doing it well, but who seem in no particular hurry to push themselves. Either that, or they make it look so easy. But there is no rush and anyway, Fridge have nothing to prove. Two albums of soft angular musings and Kieran Hebden's weighty Four Tet project have confounded enough expectations.
It's perhaps odd, then, given the circumstances, that 'Eph' is a [I]relatively[/I] conservative record. They are now officially free. All three have quit university to concentrate on music - two are 20, the other just turned 21 - and they have access at last to a proper studio. The temptation to gorge on the freedom and produce some grand, unfocused folly [I]` la[/I] kindred spirits The Beta Band must have been great, but Fridge are serious young men and 'Eph', consequently, is a serious album.
It's also a sensuous, disciplined and imaginative record; an even-paced stroll into sound rather than an elaborate journey. Each track unravels itself gradually, buoyed on by its own momentum. There's an almost organic motion that powers the elegant, whirring opener 'Ark' and the chiming fanfares on 'Transience', right through to the closing tempered folk-Kraut groove of 'Aphelion'. Grown men, many old enough to be Fridge's grandparents, have been trying to fashion this kind of unassumingly progressive music for most of their lives. With Fridge, it comes naturally. It really does [I]flow[/I].
And that's the most exciting thing about this group. Simply, that this is just the beginning of their beautiful and meaningful relationship with all forms of music. The possibilities, quite literally in Fridge's case, are endless.
To read all our reviews first - days before they appear online - check out NME magazine, on sale every Wednesday