This Conversation Is Ending Starting Right Now

Certainly it helps that [a]Sand[/a], for all their menacing intent, possess an avuncular charm...

If we’re to believe the rumours, we’ll need earplugs tonight. Sand, we hear, are loud. Extremely loud. And don’t be put off by the fact that this is progressive white noise loudness with occasional jazzy interludes, because York’s [a]Sand[/a], above all, rock.

Deep in the dank belly of possibly London’s only heavy metal-themed Swiss bar, they’re bludgeoning any inklings of seasonal good cheer with the vortex-sucking throb of imminent single, ‘Terminus’, a ferocious, mangled loop of trombone, guitar and frazzled technology. Post-rock, if it wasn’t so violent or wildly inventive.

For the [a]Sand[/a] saga is indebted to the wilful meanderings of complicated jazz as much as it is the powerful surge of prog babbling. Hence the irresistible rumble of ‘Robins Wurl’ and the avant-squonk delirium of ‘Spell’. Which means they don’t actually fit into anything, anywhere, and even if they did, well, they wouldn’t want to be there.

Certainly it helps that [a]Sand[/a], for all their menacing intent, possess an avuncular charm. Corkscrew-haired ‘leader’ Tim Wright can seemingly only manage one mighty noise from his banks of knobs, while, perched in the corner, Hilary Jefferies (he’s the trombonist) introduces an incongruous professionalism into proceedings.

Sand, appropriately, blast rock into smithereens. Don’t even try picking up the pieces.