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OBLONG – ‘Brilliant…Gwd’ Album Review

OBLONG – Brilliant…Gwd

oblongHailing from West Wales (Llanelli I believe), Oblong released their debut album Brilliant…Gwd on May 30th. Singing in their native Welsh language as well as English, the trio open with S’dim Ots Da Fi (I think that translates as “There’s Nothing a Matter with me”) and the track has a Joy Division vibe with dark vocals and a hook that just lures you in. Great opener!

This Aggression (Will Not Stand) has a super guitar lick mingling with power chords and brought back memories of Magazine and early Wire. Indeed Oblong are aptly named as they offer an angular approach full of strong songwriting, great playing and some post-punk energy that is very refreshing. The band have been together for two years and have referred to their sound as a mash up of the Pixies and Undertones and I’d agree with 2600 (Dau Chwech Cant) full of hooks, melodies, minor chords and just bloody brilliant – my Welsh speaking wife (also from West Wales, just loved it!)

There is a DIY/LoFi aspect to Oblong and their predecessors in the Welsh music scene such as Datblygu, Super Furry Animals and Anhrefn are other influences that pop up in their sound. 50 Miles On Empty an extended guitar entry reminiscent of The Wedding Present sets up another hook infested pop/punk/indie standard and Un a Dim (No One) rocks things up a notch with a powerful introduction and that aforementioned Pixies approach with the bass prevalent – really liked this one!

Half-way through the 12 track album is Post-Punk World a song that bounds along for just under two minutes reminding me of Sonic Youth. Next up is Tunguska, a track that is infectious and displays some excellent guitar work throughout. In The Lemon Tree threatens to push your speakers to maximum before offering a brief respite for the vocals and then compels you to dance (the “Lemon Tree” is a pub I think!) or at least move your limbs around in a flailing and angular fashion…

Sganwyr (Scanners) returns to that Joy Division/Wire vibe with a bit of the aforementioned Undertones thrown in for good measure – it’s a unique mix and it produces a totally different sound to much of what I have heard this year. Oblong channel The Mob and Zounds on Hold On as the drums propel the track along and the bass/guitar support the vocals superbly…this one is a standout track and sets up the penultimate effort, Max Sant (Saint Max???) a boisterous punky effort.

The album closes with Destination Zombietown, another Zounds-like bass driven, almost trippy/1960s in atmosphere dance track…a super conclusion to a super album. Grab Brilliant…Gwd by Oblong here:




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