Friday, 4 June 2021

Replicant / The Melancholy Rose : Single Released 04June2021

And here is the new single: 

Replicant / The Melancholy Rose. ...As the label put it:

Driven by acoustic guitar and exuding a joyous hip-swaying bouncing beat. Replicant playfully asks questions about the very nature of human existence. Offering a foretaste of the themes of the upcoming full length album. Here too, The Speed Of Sound draw heavily from their Science-Fiction influences. While Replicant seems to inhabit the same universe as Blade Runner it also carries another message from the corporate world. Where modern job interviews appear to have evolved into some kind of reverse Voight-Kampff Test; instead of designed to detect replicants, the purpose is to determine if the applicant has unfortunately retained any human characteristics, or will - as hoped - mechanically follow scripts and instructions. Do Androids dance to analogue music? We don’t know, but point your arm and shout along with the chorus.

Shimmering summer pop for shaded people; languid open and drifting, a gothically tinged piece of romanticism lies atop a sparkling guitar riff and a tale of the first rose of the year to bloom. Ahead of its time and alone, but merely the trailblazer showing the way and heralding the coming change. A celebration of the sudden bursting open of summer itself and an invitation to tune out from the background white-noise of civilisation and relax. To exist in the moment and enjoy the things around us. The Speed Of Sound are known for their power, yet this displays their soaring delicate side. Guest vocals are provided by one of pair a blackbirds that nested (and successfully fledged four chicks) among the dense honeysuckle and ivy of John A’s back garden during lockdown.

Recorded at Vibratone Sound Studio in Manchester.

Sleeve Art by LocalHotelParking.

Saturday, 29 May 2021

Preview Review of the next single

It isn't out until 4th June, but we already have a review of the next single... giant thanks to Christopher Nosnibor and Aural Aggravation for covering it with so much enthusiasm and for really getting the concept of a proper single (which is one of the many things we like about Big Stir records too).

"Well here’s a wakeup: The Speed Of Sound are into their fourth decade, yet are so underground they’ve bypassed me all this time. I feel a certain sense of both guilt and shame for this. Obviously, no reviewer can know everything about every band going, but sometimes, a band will slip under the radar and leave you kicking yourself. The Speed Of Sound is one such band.

The fact they’re releasing a double A-side says something about their vintage. 7” singles may still be a thing, but they’re a niche, collector thing rather than the thing you’d experience as a youth. I was in my early teens – perhaps younger – when I’d go into town and visit WHS or Boots or perhaps Woolworths and pick up a 7” single for 99p, and the B-side would often be as integral a part of the experience as the A-side, while a AA sometimes meant the second A-side – the one less likely to be played on the radio – was the better one. Hearing it would be a revelation after you slipped it over the spindle and onto the turntable. It was a magical experience that words struggle to convey.

The two tracks on this release are thematically-linked in that they’re all about the band’s love for sci-fi soaked in reverb and with some hints of dappled sunlight mellowness.

The inspiration behind ‘Replicant’ probably requires little explanation as it draws the comparisons to the world of Bladerunner and the contemporary corporate world. Hearing Ann-Marie Crowley enunciate ‘Replicant’ calls to mind Johnny Rotten emphasis on ‘Pretty vacant’, but more than anything, the uptempo acoustic guitar that leads the track has a distinctly 90s indie flavour to it, and it jangles along nicely.

‘Melancholy Rose’ is a spacey indie-psychedelic folk effort with the jangle of the early 90s and some mellow shoegaze meanderings, sort of like The Fall covering The Charlatans. There are hints of sleepy, summery funk to the track, too.

Together, it makes for a nice single that does very much evoke the experience of yesteryear’s 7” purchase."

Big Stir Records – 4th June 2021

You can find the piece here:

Christopher Nosnibor

Aural Aggravation