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London Kentish Town Bull & Gate

Maybe they're still working out how to be evocative without making barrages of noise, or they're looking for that missing link between [B]MBV[/B]-style impressionism and that lost [B]Ride Unplugged

Drummers, eh? Who'd have 'em?! All they do is sit around making a racket, ruining the 'subtleties' of your most fragile compositions with their Neanderthal tub-thumping and distasteful voodoo rhythms. So what can the modern art-rock aesthete do?



Ditch the bastard, that's what. January have been, for several months now, a highly promising group of noise-sculpting fringe guerrillas who make tunes you can whistle on the way to technical college. So imagine our surprise, then, when they announce before they even release a record in anger, their new 'direction', as a stripped-down, percussion-free three-piece. You know, for that difficult seventh gig.



The result is all a little bit underwhelming and unconvincing, all introspective acoustic finger-picking, with echoes of shimmering country-tinged guitar, a ghost escaped from a once-proud sonic cathedral. The softly melancholic melodies still lurk in the shadows, but if they were any quieter they'd disappear. It's all a little too adult and ponderous for comfort. OK, so it's early days to judge a band who still have yet to be signed. Maybe they're still working out how to be evocative without making barrages of noise, or they're looking for that missing link between MBV-style impressionism and that lost Ride Unplugged set. But maybe they should have done their growing up before they went public.

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