‘Idée Fixe’ EP
Music review by Richard Lewis 10/6/2011
Allowing their sound to slowly coalesce over the period of 18 months, Super-Cannes have maintained a shadowy presence on Liverpool’s gig circuit, playing only a dozen or so shows.
Named after the novel of the same title by venerated British sci-fi writer JG Ballard, many of the band’s songs share the same claustrophobic air the author described of ‘something not quite right’ in modern society.
The band’s focus on practice room time and song-writing has allowed the group to come to fruition as their much-anticipated debut EP amply demonstrates. A five-track affair that acts as a digest of the band’s present live set, the release sees the group reclaim literate art rock back from more angular types, reshaping it into something more melodious, while retaining the dark subject matter that dominates most of their songs.
With alternately jagged then soothing guitar lines, low-pitched bass and sonorous lead vocals, Super-Cannes have their own sound firmly nailed, the distinctive elements of the players forming a distinctive whole.
The EP title taken from a psychological term for a ‘preoccupation of the mind’, the set leads off with ‘New York, London, Paris, Tokyo’, ushered in on waves of sunburst guitar chords, the track taking off with the same wiry energy as late 80s The Cure.
The chilling ‘When People Die in Small Rooms’ is possibly the band’s highpoint, a dark tale of drink and drug dependants that starts out with an ominous bass rumble and downbeat guitar arpeggio like ‘Mezzanine’ era Massive Attack. The entrance of a razorwire guitar line makes the song change tack as Ritchie Taylor’s deep vocal melody cuts through imposingly, akin to Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan.
‘Things Fall Apart’, structured around a bright guitar arpeggio and military drum tattoo rises in intensity and volume as the track progresses, almost a mini-suite of songs packed into three short minutes.
Concluding with the blissful ‘Girl on the Hill’ meanwhile, ends proceedings on a brighter note, the live-stand out providing light relief after the intense tracks that feature before it.
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