Thursday, 12 April 2012

Screen Vinyl Image - Strange Behavior

Photo: Phil Maier
Synth/guitar duo, Screen Vinyl Image (SVI), return with Strange Behavior; their first full-length album since 2009's firebrand debut, Interceptors.

Layered throughout with intelligent slabs of cold wave and post-punk, Strange Behavior hints at a subtle change in direction for Jake and Kim Reid, whilst continuing to embrace the pyschedelic synthgaze upon which they built the SVI template.

True to form we begin with a rush of 80s-styled alternative pop. Album opener We Don't Belong fires a hammering drum loop over crackling guitars and lush keys, whilst Revival invokes the speed-fuelled highs of Automatic era Jesus & Mary Chain. It's breathless stuff and an early reminder of the potency the Reid's possess within their sonic arsenal.

If the pace seems unforgiving, some respite is given by the contemplative, Stay Asleep; an electro-pop gem that culminates in a three-minute climax of unflinching, warped electronica. Elsewhere, My Confession melds brooding acoustic guitar hooks with densely layered synths to create an atmospheric centrepiece, bettered only by the glorious darkwave of Rx and New Visions.

But what makes Strange Behavior truly stand out, is the feeling that this album has genuine moments of crossover accessibility. Station 4 recalls the halcyon days of classic New Order, whilst Night Trip, (featured below) is a remix-friendly slice of acidgaze, complete with stomping 4/4 beat and warehouse squelches.

Out now on Custom Made Music, Strange Behavior is an album of glorious contradictions. As retrospective as it is boundary-pushing and as dark as it is vibrant - it's a welcome addition to the Reids' blossoming cannon of music. Discover more by visting SVI's Bandcamp page.

1 comment:

  1. This band is based in my area and I've been keeping an eye out for an opportunity to see them. Good reputation!