How To Swim – Retina (or More Fun Than a Vat of Love)
Glasgow's How To Swim bring us their debut album, Retina (or More Fun Than a Vat of Love), with the promise of crossing as many musical borders as possible. And whilst they make good on their promise, the end product is an often dizzying, sometimes infuriating car-crash of sound.
Ink Wilson’s World of Fear features six minutes of manic misdirection, from its barroom honky-tonk piano beginnings, to the structureless mash of instrumentation which heralds its end. Meanwhile the indulgently titled From Here to Dundee Slash Eternity has an equally indulgent fanfare of an ending, spoiling a tender and promising intro.
With the remainder of Retina… playing out in a similarly frustrating vein, all seems lost; that is until How to Swim pull the utterly seductive False out of the bag, and in doing so prove that in moments of simplicity, when they set the nonsense aside, they’re capable of capturing a still beauty. [Paul Neeson]