Comparisons with Radiohead are often dished out for acts with even a moderate taste for experimenting but in the case of The Graveyard Tapes, it’s a fitting description. Matt Collings and Euan McMeeken have already established a reputation as prolific musicians, largely in the field of ambient/electronica and here they team up for a fine album, brimming with ideas to match the early hours of the morning angst.
Drone-dominated opener ‘Gravebell’ isn’t the most alluring way to start a record. Neither is ‘Bloodbridge’ but the juxtaposition of McMeeken’s vulnerable vocals against stentorian piano and Collings’ wintry ambient effects makes the song a stark, quietly beautiful affair. ‘Gravebat’ is characterised by skittering beats and mournful horns, sounding not unlike an out-take from Talk Talk’s ‘Laughing Stock’. Despite the bleak, panicky nature of the vocals, there’s an underlying addictiveness in the wonderfully rhythmic ‘Insomniac Dawn’. Indeed, there are signs of a steady progression into increasingly melodic territory and the good news is McMeeken and Collings don’t lose their instinct for invention either. ‘Hunting For Statues’ could even be defined as catchy such is the hypnotic nature of the track. Reassuringly, though, the sombre title track and equally morose ‘Wolves’ ensure the album ends on a melancholic note.
‘Our Sound Is Our Wound’ is a cleverly sequenced album where the music begins slowly and lugubriously but then slowly works its way to a level of urgency before then settling down again into a pit of despair. In between all kinds of interesting things happen which only leads to anticipation of the next project involving these two artists.
Caught In The Wake Forever, Matt Collings, Radiohead