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.
We got a review in for our cassette 51:21. It’s available on our Bandcamp page, but quantity is very low, these are going super fast! You can, however, order it digitally from Bandcamp or iTunes, Amazon, etc.
Let’s get right to it, in order to satisfy me with your guitars (i.e. make me stare like a moron), the best thing is to basically do the most wrong and extreme things with them, as loud as possible. This is what I enjoy doing and what I enjoy listening to. My father would be so proud. 51:21
is a compilation put together by Screen Vinyl Image, a group of people
from Washington, DC who seem to take pride in this strange practice for
strange people. “Another bunch of dropouts with too many fuzz pedals”,
you might say, but SVI seem to be part of that group who give that scene
a good name.
From the get-go, 51:21
intoxicates me. “Too Much Speed” is a manic blend of steady, smooth
vocals, sampled beats, keyboard harmonies and noise guitars working as
an undercurrent. It’s almost like a hazy explosion, but firmly held
together. “Stay Asleep” is a mellower, New Order-ish take on the same
formula, but turns into a pulsating, organic wall of noise and samples
that lasts longer than the actual song, very meditative.
The remainder of the album is the inclusion of their debut EP, The Midnight Sun,
which is a fresh blend of Manchester scene-influenced electronica and
shoegaze. Overall it’s a throbbing, noisy package of programming and
screaming instruments, with space for more mellow numbers like “Roaming
Spirit Freedom”. However, “The Midnight Sun” would have to be the
highlight here. It’s a sexy, druggy blend of sampling, a strange bass
line, and guitars that actually seem to only feedback. Two minutes into
the track I kind of forgot what I was doing in the first place, and
started playing visions of streetlights and open fires in my head. Take
that completely as you will. The EP ends with a short punk length number
called “Black Leather Jacket”, in which the guitars have completely
resorted to sounding more like a machine than an instrument, leaving a
taste of blood in my mouth and ears.
title track that ends the album is a live recording in which the band
resort into full-blown jam mode. It sounds a lot more like Throbbing
Gristle than Grateful Dead, however. It starts out nice enough with a
bit of industrial sounding percussion loops and organs, but then the
first attack of feedback erupts. From that moment forward, we are
in deep, murky territory. Sometimes there’s an actual song being played,
and it’s always beautiful and on par with the rest of the album, but in
between them there’s a lot of blissful noise; see Skullflower or
Birchville Cat Motel. There’s obviously no way that I wouldn’t like
I already stated that there’s nothing new whatsoever with the whole
“pop music through massive noise” thing that’s been going on for over 20
years now, but it works, dammit. At its best, it completely numbs all
of my senses, and 51:21 did a pretty good job of this.
‘If New OrderandJesusand Mary Chainweregeneticallycrossed, it wouldresult insomething close towhatis the doubleofScreenVinylImage fromVirginia… Close, butnotexactly. ‘
Thus beginsthe textonStrangebehavior, the latest release of theduoJakeandKim, datedDecember 2011.Andthese words, and other giftsfor the restof thatpost,couldrepeat itselfhere and now, in the beginning of2013 totalk about51:21, the SVInew album..I mean, notso new.
The albumof 08trackscoming outofficially-incassetteformat-in early Februarybears thereissueof the firstEPandthe band’ssensational, The midnight sun, a single recordedin 2010butnever released(Too much speed/Stayasleep-in the original version, notthe one that appearsinStrangebehavior) and the title track, an instrumentaljam sessionof 32 minutesmade â€‹â€‹by theduo -withall the paraphernaliathathadtheright-during a presentationon Halloween2012.
So forthose who are accustomedtoScreenVinylImageMusic, 51:21-exceptthesong of the samename,experimentalfrom beginning to end, with one or twobreaks to‘breathe’ -is not exactlya novelty. It’spsychedelic, dark, full ofloud guitarsanddanceableelectronic beats, somewhere between New Orderand the Jesusand Mary Chainand has…“The midnight sun”, atrackfrom2007 that‘blind’ wouldquietlyasan unheardofMy Bloodyvalentine.