And So I Watch You From Afar: The Letters E.P

Written By:

Aidan Williamson

02nd February 2010
At 17:36 GMT

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Less This Will Destroy You and more 65daysofstatic with a side-line in instrumental Fall of Troy-style shenanigans, Belfast's ASIWYFA have proven to be one of the more interesting instrumental outfits doing the rounds.

It could be due to an unfortunate case of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Dis-something, yet these boys paint the town red, blue, green, yellow and even add a touch of purple in the short sixteen minutes in which they have your attention. This one isn't about cathartic builds and crescendos. Much like 65daysofstatic, it's idea, bamn, idea, kapow, idea, swoosh, idea, zing style of song-writing which forever ensures that there is never the familiarity required to breed contempt.

Such a mood-jumping blueprint though never has enough time to create warmth or expectation, you just sit back and let The Letters show you what it's got, rather than the more interactive role which more traditional music offers.

The mid-section of "S is for Salamander" is the more visceral incarnation of the band. It's all rolling toms, droning guitars and uncommonly jangly lead guitars screeching through riffs with no regard for the natural order of things. That scene where the cowboy walks into a saloon and all heads turn to look at him: switch the cowboy for a homicidal robot armed to the silicone teeth with laser-guided XM25s and you have a better picture of what this song sounds like.

Things take on a more relaxed demeanour for the two middle contributions. Somewhat reminiscent of Minus the Bear for their upper-octave finger-tapping techniques and almost jazz-like grooves. The thunder is stolen somewhat from such a powerhouse of an intro, but it certainly extends the interest levels by trying something diverse.

The E.P bookends with "K is for Killing Spree" (yes, all of the four songs feature the same idiosyncratic style of titling). While we feel they missed an opportunity to spell out one of the vast number of four-letter words in their E.P titling, the sound returns to a faster, more bizarre path, breaking down two-minutes in to be consumed by feedback before injecting a pulse of energy into the system to finish things off in rifftastic fashion.

As an E.P, there is barely anything to recommend repeated listens other than to shower brief adulation upon such a diverse band band to point to greater things come the full-length release, when hopefully the songs will have more inter-connectivity.

It's one hell of a trailer though.

Rating:  7 / 10

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