No interview with Edinburgh School for the Deaf ahead of Friday’s gig in Dundee, but instead here’s a review of the new E.P. ‘In Dreams Lie Guilt’, released on Sunday.
The first thing to state is that anyone who’s seen the band play live in the last 18 months (at least) will be familiar with at least some of the songs. In fact ‘The Life and Times of Alex Johnston’ has been a fixture all that time with ‘Joan of Arc RIP’ the most recent addition to the live repertoire.
The opening track is rather confusingly called ‘Of Scottish Blood and Sympathies’ but it’s not the same song that opens the debut LP ‘New Youth LP’. Whilst it retains elements of its namesake the EP version has a different set of lyrics, a different melody and even a different tempo. It’s also a duet between Ashley and departed guitarist Kieran. Despite its foreign language, spoken word intro, it’s a concise scuzzy pop tune – a type that ESFTD seem to specialise in.
Of the other tracks, ‘Alex Johnston’ barely clocks in at 90 seconds yet leaves its mark with its memorable chorus, ‘The Pox and the Hex Ensues’ is Grant’s psychotic rock’n’roll showpiece from the live set with the band’s trash aesthetic dialled up to 11 and ‘Joan of Arc RIP’ is the set’s quietest number, reminiscent of the Shop Assistants at their cutest.
The EP is completed by a remix of LP track ‘Love Is Terminal’ which is perhaps more radical than the term remix would suggest with the song stretched out to a Velvets type ballad with a feedback distorted chorus.
All things considered ‘In Dreams Lie Guilt’ is a cracking return from one of Scotland’s most exciting bands.
Catch them live at Sneaky Pete’s in Edinburgh tomorrow (Thursday 6th) and on Friday 7th in Dundee with the Electric Sugar Children at the Cool Cat Club at Beat Generator Live!
The E.P. is available to download here.
From the Grassmarket Festival inEdinburgh last May, here’s a live version of ‘Alex Johnston’ which follows on from the captioned ’11 Kinds of Loneliness’.
and the version of ‘Love Is Terminal’ from the band’s last Dundee appearance (filmed by Daisy Dundee):