Atmospheric, melodic, alternative indie rock from the gold mine of Oxford.
Oxford has always been a reliable source for invigorating bands across a series of genres, and ArtClassSink are no exception with their four track EP, ILLA. Founded from a recurring dream, that vocalist Joe Biggs had, about an artist trying to produce a masterpiece, who then finds the wash of colours in their sink, is greater than the actual work itself. An alluring tale in itself, even without ArtClassSink’s melodic, alt rock to provide a hazey whirl, of a shoegazed, pop tone vortex.
Amazingly not the shortest track of the EP; She (Intro), borrows old school, 70’s rock melodies, familiar to darker, Velvet Underground styles, with spiralling guitar hooks pieced together by growling bass tones, and snarling atmospherics. Time To Go (Before The Rivalry) on the other hand, boasts neo-rock, rave anthem abilities with clinical wohs, broadened with a combination of high velocity drum beats, and internal bass lines combined with evaporating guitar tones, which drain out slowly, with key riffs brightening the darkened situation of Time To Go, altogether.
The mood of ILLA isn’t exactly one of prosperity and light hearted fun, as the dull, shoegazed mood, of droned out self loathing reaches its peak, when Cry For Help hits, with similarities to Moats on Alt Glue., as reverbed echoes, scale withering instrumentation, as the quiet hysteria of shoegaze effects provide the backdrop for Joe’s broken vocals.
On the final track Someone To Try For, the dull, low flying clouds, of ILLA’s doom-mongering, receives a façade face lift, as clearer, ‘happier’ tones and melodies, disguise the lyrics of entrapment and lust, which completes ILLA’s downward spiral of negative emotions magnificently.
For a 4 track EP that only last 13 minutes, ILLA explodes with the energy expected from an Oxford band, and more. Not as pop-ey, as Fixers debut, but ILLA still bursts with the innovative melodies and pop hooks, mangled together with alt rock magic, that creates a distance from the stigma of Oxford, that every band are being Foals. Overall, ILLA is an intriguing piece of dark, alternative rock, that’s well supplied with alluring tracks, that’ll create excitement for more Art-rock madness.