While it would be churlish not to welcome a glut of bands that wear their love of Mary Chain, Joy Division, Kevin Shields et al on their sleeves, music in 2009 can sometimes feel like suckling on a reassuring sonic nipple and it can be easy to ignore the substance (or lack thereof) beneath those swampy feedback avalanches. First time round, APTBS, with a heavy dose of noise, lights and smoke at their lightshows, and an album that relied a little too much on compressed-the-fuck-out-of fuzz and Slowdive-esque ‘Fall down/around’ ‘your eyes/so high’ type wordage, certainly aroused suspicions. While the acid shoegazers again seem to know what they’re doing a little too well, there’s more variety of texture to contend with and, just like last time, some great songs. Of Note: ‘In Your Heart’, ‘Smile When You Smile’ and ‘Keep Slipping Away’.

By Ed Smith

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