Steeple Remove – Position Normal
Originally available digitally or on import, the French experimentalists’ fifth long player – out in their homeland at the beginning of the year – receives its physical UK release amidst a mélange of Motorik grooves, power-pop persuasion and measured (if occasionally feisty) atonality. Not that the charm is Gallic in nature; the reference points suggest a night in with Echo and the Bunnymen, early Ride and Spacemen 3, what with all the strident synth motifs (Silver Banana; Imaginary Girl), scuzzy guitars (Calling Up) and bass-pinioned momentum (Sunshine) on offer.
Maybe not the most stylistically original record you’re likely to hear, but there’s enough tricks up Steeple Remove’s sleeves to keep interest levels high – particularly the way in which Mirrors and Home Run both spiral out of focus at the mid-point, exposing the bones of each track through tangential prodding at melody and beat. The unpredictability here helps to push at perception, and while you’re never quite certain where the agenda may sit, it’s a rewarding uncertainty nonetheless.