Thula Borah are a four piece from Glasgow who released 5 track E.P. ‘Live Secretly’ back in February. The E.P. was recorded at Gargleblast Studios with Andy Miller.
‘Live Secretly’ is a massive sounding record, which draws on Mogwai at their most epic but is also a little rockier than Glasgow’s most famous instrumental practitioners can be. Whilst opening track ‘Organic Paranoia’ is an instrumental, the rest of the tracks feature dreamy vocals which wouldn’t be out of place on a shoegaze track. Not surprisingly when the going gets noisy the voice has to fight for its place in the mix.
Thing is, Thula Borah operate in an area that I sometimes have difficulty in connecting with. I generally like instrumental bands but some rock bands not that far removed from Mogwai can come over a little po faced.
But Thula Borah manage to walk that line and carry it off. The first sign of that was when second track ‘Skye Is Falling’ popped unbidden into my head after just a couple of plays. The reason? It’s got a melody. But it also embodies the best of the E.P. pitching that tune into a song that alternates between acoustic guitars and a wall of noise.
‘Murder’ meanwhile plays almost against the quiet-loud archetype – it’s got enough confidence in itself to resist the temptation to really explode until pretty much the last minute of its near 8 and a half minutes running time.
Last track ‘Violence Is Forever’ though, at nearly 10 minutes long, is the true epic. An insistent guitar leads the song off bulding towards a metallic section. By the time the conclusion’s reached there’s no restraint, no holding back for its skyscraping finale.
Get the E.P. from their Bandcamp on a name-your-own-price deal, whilst their 2011 LP ‘Mind River Matter’ is also available there, for the princely sum of £3.
Thula Borah play Dexter’s in Dundee, this Sunday 22nd, it would appear.