FFO: Dutch Elm – This Building Is Intimidating | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Newcastle post-rock outfit, Dutch Elm release their brand new single, This Building Is Intimidating. The single, complete with its math rock beats, metal guitar shreds and spoken word part, demonstrates the band’s musical proficiency and craftsmanship and makes for a mesmerising and intriguing listen. 

Here, the band tries to encapsulate the sound of their latest offering using three other tracks…

And So I Watch You From Afar – I Capture Castles 

First, we should start off by saying we’re all massive fans of this band and we owe a lot to them. Like all good post-rock songs, it carries the ‘what’s next’ feeling throughout the whole piece. We’re magnetically drawn to the layering of the two effect heavy guitars, sometimes both playing as the lead on top of each other, with the high-energy drums and octave-filled bass rooting a solid foundation in the rhythm sections. The track drifts in and out of heaviness, with peaceful 4/4 refrains giving way to math-laden time signatures and shrieking leading lines, which help you get lost whilst listening and emphasises the telling of a story without a vocalist, until the very end when it slaps you in the face. We’ve all taken notes from these guys over the years and hopefully one day we could have the pleasure of sharing a stage with them.

Maybeshewill – Not For Want of Trying

A pillar band in the post-rock scene, Maybeshewill encapsulates the ‘wall of sound’ perfectly. With two heavily distorted guitars and an overdriven bass all playing the same riff in unison on ‘Not For Want of Trying’, the sound is immensely huge. We take great inspiration from bands that make tiny venues sound enormous. Alongside this, being instrumental, we leave our music open to contextual interpretation, but sometimes we want a track to fit a certain narrative and that’s where the use of sampling can push a track in a particular direction. While ‘Not For Want of Trying’ samples Peter Finch in the 1976 film Network, with his tirades featuring a dark vision of America as a nation in decline, likewise, our latest release samples former Labour MP Laura Pidcock berating the House of Commons in a similar manner. 

Cleft – Trapdoor

We had the honour of opening up the Newcastle date for the Cleft tribute tour after Dan sadly passed away in 2018. Masters of daft noodly riffs, thick down-tuned chugs, hard hammering drums and boundless stage presence, Cleft encompasses all of what instrumental music is about to us. For a two piece, the band achieved what others struggle to with four or five members. King of the pedals, with a board full of the cheapest yet wackiest sounding delays the market has to offer, we’re still bemused as to where some of those filthy soundwaves come from. Dan was an expert at finding silly tones, pitch-bent squeals, layered octave thickness and effortlessly looped layer on layer in a live setting. Fun, complex and catchy, with some left-field techniques to back it up, Cleft are the epitome of math rock and we often end up tap dancing our own pedalboards trying to emulate them.

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