I must be the last person in bloody Scotland to review this album, but I have never really clicked with Super Adventure Club particularly, so I suppose it was inevitable that I showed very little urgency when it came to really giving Avoid Zombies* a proper, attentive listen.
It’s reminded me, in a slightly by-the-bye sort of way, of the value of labels and collectives too. Armellodie Records seem to be on a bit of a roll at the moment, and the fact that these Edinburgh to Glasgow transplants were working with Al was definitely something I noticed. If you are generally in good company, I suppose it inevitably reflects on your band as well – Fence, Fife Kills and Bear Scotland spring to mind.
Anyhow, it’s a bit of a back-handed compliment, but I am enjoying this far more than I expected to. The furious bursts of guitar and percussion in Super Adventure Club’s stuff have generally been bit too frantic and mental for me, but they’ve put this album together really well so you get lulls in the onslaught and shifts in the general atmosphere not just within songs, but across songs.
I suppose I would say that their stuff benefits from being collected together. This much variation can often become a bit of a morass, contradictory as that sounds. Basically, when each song can sound like three or four different songs within the same few minutes it can actually be difficult to distinguish between the individual tracks themselves, because it can be hard to tell if you’re on to a new track or just in the middle of a bizarre interlude in the first one.
In the second half of the album Nosferatu, My Other Brain and Think Like a Fish suffer a bit from this, but in general it is actually something which the band get absolutely right. The changes in pace and attitude across songs tend to throw their neighbours into pretty sharp relief, and this gives the record a really good sense of maturity and confidence.
The pace seems to pick up as things go on, starting with a slap to the chops – Hip Hop Hot Pot Pot Noodle – before settling to something a little more laid back and slowly building up to a frenzy over the course of the album. By the time it collapses, somewhat post-coitally, into album closer Strings I find myself pretty exhausted and I have to confess that at its most frenetic this record is a bit full-on for me, honestly. However, I am really enjoying most of it and am really pleased to see these guys continue to progress. Good things good things – now to see them live!
*This is good advice, generally speaking.
Super Adventure Club – Hip Hop Hot Pot Pot Noodle
Photo Credit: Andrew Moor