When an album claims to be inspired by the softer edges of Bark Psychosis and the harder edges of the Cocteau Twins, it must surely be investigated. It is Millimetre’s second long player which makes this claim and it’s certainly no idle boast. The artist behind the name is Terence J McGaughey from Belfast whose work on his debut ‘Love Won Out’ led to him providing a soundtrack for artist Andy Harper’s exhibition ‘The Visitors’. Unsurprisingly this is a dark, atmospheric work.
Like the aforementioned Bark Psychosis, Millimetre’s songs are atmospheric, make subtle use of samples and are not afraid to show emotion. The chillingly effective results are the kind you’d expect after being inspired by visits to Southwark Cathedral, Montparnasse Cemetery and Dunluce Castle. The second track, the brilliantly hypnotic ’Lay Down’ is based on a loop of sampled church bells and McGaughey’s own haunted refrain. Bizarrely some McGaughey’s vocals reminded me of Depeche Mode’s, albeit with extra layers of echo, although it’s unlikely McGaughey is trying to capture that audience. Indeed, make no mistake that this release is designed for the masses as you’d expect from someone who has worked with former Throbbing Gristle member Chris Carter.
Although Millimetre’s music follows melody (of the very twisted variety), it is at its most confrontational on ’Skeleton Queue’ which is distorted so much it’s difficult to make out what instruments or samples form the original sounds whereas the lengthy title track moves along at a glacial pace, its subtle dynamics bearing a heart of darkness within. The album ends with one of the few recognisable guitar parts, it’s nagging riff propelling what comes close to indie rock, albeit beamed in from an alien planet thanks to its typically subversive production. Overall, this is an album to sit up and take notice of because so many songs sound unique; these skewed tunes making it a late entry for the best albums of 2007.
Bark Psychosis, Khonnor, Chris & Cosey