Two excellent reviews came in for 51:21. The cassette is now out of print, but you can still download it from Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon, or stream it on Spotify
This is not new, Screen Vinyl Image, or one of my favorite pairs is not the type to meet smoke curtains when it comes to delivering the dope. Instead, why not stamp armored van with nitroglycerin and all the paraphernalia that goes with war: to what kraut psyche Crackwhore panic, which pulverizes Soft Moon 2 drum machines very heavy (they always I know, it’s funny in force), the villain of shoegaze raven-blo cated between post-punk and coldwave, as in Place To Bury Strangers, inevitably, except that the overdose of LSD is very close and a bit more epileptic. Screen Vinyl Image, as I’ve said often enough, it is the seizure, then the crisis of paranoia, then the crisis of dementia that ends in a shootout in the mall, there’s imagine that instead of ads wholesale “kill’em all” and that makes subliminal immediately; it stress, urge it, it chokes, it transpires, and then there’s this extraordinary effect GTA: it flees NON-STOP, a little as if you had 5 stars and the whole army was in your ass, you know? And I’m not talking about raids acid good hardcore mouth inserted into the toilet bowl when not embedded in the wall, with the sole companion of his fortune this bastard bounce and accompanies each of your contractions.
Finally almost the same orgy that Interceptors in just more “coherent” . A treat, yes. And I confess I do not dare list of groups that will dress forthwith. Allow at least Black Marble, The VLA, and APTBS Violens, and plenty of others, which is already quite heavy, I think.
Something about Screen Vinyl Image is unambiguously vintage.
It could be the name – its resemblance to the authentically ancient Ultra Vivid Scene.
But more likely its the sound. Born out of the far ‘nu’-er Alcian Blue, SVI are unashamedly not so. Ignore any/all reviews/bios calling SVI ‘futuristic’ or ‘contemporary’ or any synonym thereof. Look – they’ve got Bernard Sumner to do vox on ‘Stay Asleep’ – the second track of their latest release*, 51:21, presumably named for the duration of the album (which, fyi, is 51:59)
51:21 opens with the immensely likeable ‘Too Much Speed’ – released as a single a couple of years ago if you were paying attention. A pleasantly noisy pop-tart with a tambourine and a hook, dancing with each other against a backdrop of fuzzy-coarse guitar noise that remains politely out of the way.
Not quite so approachable is the aforementioned ‘Stay Asleep’ which features Gary Chadwick**. There is not a shred of doubt that this track was recorded around the time I was born (probably earlier).
BUT WAIT WHAT’S THIS.
Cross the four minute mark and it’s the scene from Alien – an entirely new creature bursting out of a familiar character. Relentless (analogue) synths push their way out of the placid electropop and drill their way mercilessly into your subconscious. You’ll hear the echoes in your dreams, your veins will throb to the percussion and your ears will tingle with what may be white noise or may be tinnitus.
Barring the closer, we’ve met the rest of these songs before, on The Midnight Sun EP, but they’re worth revisiting. These are the tracks you can see played live while you listen – lights swaying and melting into each other, voices soaked up by carpet and bouncing off concrete, heads bobbing or swaying, eyelids closing, bodies staying rigid.
I’m especially fond of ‘Passing Through Mirrors’ – atypical, no doubt, it lacks the blackness of its comrades, its guitar is very nearly acoustic, it’s got ‘shimmer’ and ‘sparkle’ (are those chimes?), it whistles and it coos, and before it can hypnotise us completely, it curls up into itself and slinks away, leaving us with the unforgiving intro of ’16mm Shrine’ to jolt us back into the dark.
Thinkpiece? Jam session? Composition? Who knows what ’51:21′ was meant to be but its 32 minutes are what take up the 51:21 (51:59?) it’s named after. Live and unedited, it’s whirlpool synths, marching beats, metallic echos, a racing pulse, and even some 8 bit ideas. Our alien friend from ‘Stay Asleep’ also makes an appearance around the 25 minute mark, this time with a classic reverby ‘gaze guitar serving as its foil.
If I had been more timely, I’d have been able to lead you to their bandcamp page so you could pick up 51:21 in Ye Olde Cassette Formatte. Now, however, you’re left with no choice but to direct venomous curses at me as you grudgingly download the digital album.