‘Rhizomes’ is the debut LP of sub-lunar art rock sextet Effi Briest, Brooklyn residents and chums of the trend-setting likes of Telepathe and Mirror Mirror. Refreshingly, peeling away the cool connections and immaculate graphic design reveals a record of real substance that verges occasionally on brilliance. The girls trade in a floating minor-key post punk, slightly stoned and reminiscent of early Banshees – the kind of comparison they might be keen to avoid, considering the vocals’ proximity to Siouxsie’s. The moments in which this likeness feels overbearing happen to coincide with the album’s most conventional, forgettable passages, creating swathes of regrettable filler and, at its worst, this could be New Young Pony Club or CSS with the day-glo paint stripped-off. For the most part though this is all admirable stuff, sounding far-out (‘X’), and beautifully melancholic (‘Long Shadow’). ‘Nights’, in its flailing psychedelia manages to be almost Doors-ish and in the palindrome-employing ‘Mirror Rim’ the band achieve the kind of nuts-and-bolts experimentalism of Wet Dog, washed-over with a seductive, noir-ish sheen.

By Edgar Smith

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