The hinterlands of the mind

This is the fifth album from these Northern Ireland boys, and it finds their instrumental chaos wending its way through the Touch and Go (and related labels) blueprint. Whereas earlier efforts clearly evoked Don Cab and the Fucking Champs, this one takes those influences and heads off into the fields. Kind of like a really loud, borderline insane Dirty Three.

And So I Watch You From Afar
The Endless Shimmering
(Sargent House)

Without the fiddle. But this isn't so much a sonic evolution as a philosophical one. These are longer songs that take up a lot more of a canvas. Their stories are laid out plain and dissected by the band's take-no-prisoners approach, but the ideas are far too strong for any deconstruction to strip them of their power.

Indeed, the intensity and power of these songs are one reason ASIWYFA is considered the progenitor of an increasing number of like-minded bands from the British Isles. Another is the band's musical flexibility and proficiency. After a few minutes, it is clear that these boys could play anything they want. They've chosen these songs. That means something.

It means a lot, really. Songs don't need words to tell stories, and there's nothing wrong with a bashy hash now and again. My advice is to simply fade into the shimmer. These boys will take care of you just fine.

Jon Worley

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