Around 2007 it seemed compulsory for American indie rock bands to crank up the reverb and lower their singing voices in order to be ‘on trend’. But whenever you listened to, say, A Place to Bury Strangers, you ended up putting on ‘Psychocandy’ instead, just like you would rather eat at Nando’s than at Frango’s. With their self-titled debut, The Third Sound – a multi-national collective with its roots in Iceland – serve up a belated candidate for nu gaze record of the year. It’s all there – the reverb, the vocals pushed to the back of the mix, and the ‘Be My Baby’ drum beat (‘Gloria’). There are also, more interestingly, twanging guitar riffs reminiscent of The Shadows, and, in the crawling ‘JSD’, echoes of the gloriously psychedelic/super-tedious (depending on your viewpoint) moments on Oasis’ ‘Familiar to Millions’ live album. Might have worked in 2007, not so much right now.

By Matthias Scherer

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