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Ides Of Space
There Are No New Clouds
Better Looking Records / Architecture Label


One of the most stunning debuts in recent memory, There Are No New Clouds from Sydney’s Ides Of Space is a lush, dense, beautiful slab of rock and roll. As the title of the album suggests, there are no new sounds on this record, but Ides Of Space mine familiar territory with such aplomb, expertise, and enthusiasm that the experience is every bit as exhilarating as that first time you heard My Bloody Valentine.

It won’t take but a few seconds for you to identify the familiar territory to which I refer. Depending on what you listened to of the shoegazer sounds that blossomed in the 90s in the wake of MBV’s brilliant records, you may hear hints of Ride, Loop, Swervedriver, Chapterhouse, Slowdive, or even later bands like Medicine, Smashing Pumpkins, and Idaho. Yes, Ides Of Space is sparkling distortion, heavily effected whispered vocals, synth string pads and chimes, and a healthy dollop of reverb ladled over the mass. But they’re also driving, intense, passionate rock that refuses to let you be lulled into a trance by the lush atmospherics. If they’re lucky, they’ll be able to avoid being pigeonholed by rock writers who will want to call them "ethercore" or something equally obtuse.

Your best introduction to the Ides Of Space sound is "No Trace Of Fading", which stands out as the most likely "single" on the record. Here Patrick Haid’s vocals are mixed up front, while his and Mark Ayoub’s guitars careen into each other in sonic bliss. David The’s bass and Anthony The’s drumming drive the piece relentlessly, and Martin Barker’s keyboards provide delicate flourishes throughout. This may not be the track that Australian radio has chosen (the Ides are enjoying play on Sydney’s mainstream 2JJJ), but it is the clear winner for Gavin accessibility.

This is not to say that the other tracks on There Are No New Clouds pale by comparison. The album’s opener, "This Side Of The Screen" (featured on a recent episode of Dawson’s freaking Creek), contains strummy and beautiful verses and chunky, lashing choruses. "Keep Writing" is similarly surprising with its alternating sweetness and aggression. The slower and more patient pace of "Switchboard" is compelling and confident. The shimmering and ringing guitars of "Random Noise Generator" become a crunchy, forceful presence as the tune builds to its cataclysmic crescendo.

There’s not a lot to hang onto in the vocals on this record, but there are absolutely beautiful melodies and countermelodies in the guitars and keyboards that make Ides Of Space far more than a noisy space band. On top of and shaping the beautiful musical mess, Anthony The beats his skins intensely, as if to defy the squishiness of the music he spurs. Wayne Connolly’s production adds the final important touches. Connolly has worked with Silverchair, Evan Dando, and many others. In tune with the classic shoegazer esthetic, Connolly mixes the vocals pretty low throughout, allows the guitars to mush together, keeps the bass pumping, lets the drums pop out in the mix, and, as I mentioned earlier, washes the whole mélange in thick reverb.

So, while Ides Of Space adds very little that is new to our musical world, they are doing what they do better than anyone currently doing it. It’s exciting to hear a band so committed to a sound and so skilled at producing it, particularly at such an early point in their recorded career. If the band continues to develop, we can expect only better and better from them. I, for one, am glad to have gotten in on the ground floor with these folks.

Eryc Eyl

Track Listing :

  1. This Side Of The Screen
  2. Arthur’s Car
  3. Keep Writing
  4. No Trace Of Fading
  5. Switchboard
  6. Citrus
  7. Random Noise Generator
  8. I Promise Not To Notice If You Promise To Pretend
  9. Computer World
  10. Movie Ending

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Brett Newski



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