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imp: Volcano! + Spokes + Greater The Shadow @ The Tunnels, 11th November


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as part of SOUND festival, interesting music and Idol Wild promotions present


Tuesday 11th November 2008

The Tunnels, Carnegies Brae, Aberdeen. AB10 1BF. Phone 01224 211121

Doors 8.00pm 

Entry 5







Listening to volcano! is a journey through highs and lows, through confusion and clarity. An experimental avant-rock band from Chicago, ranging from lush sing-and-strums to schizophrenic dance-punk anthems to claustrophobic descents into guitar-noise and electronic freak-outs.

Forming in summer 2003, they believed in the importance of fusing improvisation and abstraction, with pop melodies and harmonies - a beautiful, epic noise, resulting in their debut album Beautiful Seizure on the Leaf label. New album Paperwork retains the same explosive powers but use some restraint, which makes the peaks feel more rewarding.

Paperwork is a thrilling journey of exuberant swoops and peaks balanced against puzzling but rewarding thrills. This is an album that benefits from mulitple listens, just as those of volcano!'s sonic compatriots Battles and Foals (Drowned in Sound)

You could use words like prog, complex, experimental, lush, polyrhythmic, post-rock, jarring, uplifting, catchy and mind-blowing, but even these words combined still dont quite articulate the magnificently wonky otherness of Paperwork (Kerrang KKKK)




Spokes are a five piece outfit from Manchester who, following the release of their critically acclaimed debut, are now embarking on an extensive UK headline tour. The grand sound of their album People Like People Like You has been compared to the likes of Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene by the music undergrounds most influential press. Read the reviews if you dont believe me...

"It's incredibly easy to fall in love with an album when it takes in elements of slow-core, post-rock, shoe-gaze, folk and pop music so effortlessly, and when the richly textured instrumentation balances out grandiose gestures with quietly reflective passages, we're primed for singing praises to anyone who'll bother listening. Absolutely gorgeous stuff and a real find...." (Boomkat)

"Spokes - one of our picks for 2008 - have that feel of a post-rock-indie mini-orchestra, with a gorgeous, lush and textured sound built from washes of delay and violin and occasional bits of dreamy vocal" (Manchester Music)



Greater the Shadow are a band who have been writing together for about a year and a half and seem to be getting better and better every single show they play. Purveyors of the quiet/loud instrumental dynamic, they'll mix enticing electronica into the mix to lure you in, before administering a sonic smack in the kisser. With obvious nods in the direction of Slint and Explosions in the Sky, Greater the Shadow sound more like M83 being seduced Black Sabbath.


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Hey! look! The new volcano! album hits pitchfork!

Paperwork | Pitchfork



[Leaf; 2008]

Rating: 7.9

It may be easy to create an indie rock song that eschews structure for instrumental shock-and-awe, or reveals too much information in the lyrics, or pokes fun at messianic rock stars. Doing all of the above is rare, however-- as is making each stray verse or hiccup as arresting as the one before it-- but volcano! manage this on their second record, Paperwork, even better than they did on their debut, Beautiful Seizure.

The mercurial three-piece may now be more cohesive, consistent, and focused, but volcano!'s unpredictability is Paperwork's biggest strength. "'78 Oil Crisis" starts slow with incidental noises, but it settles into a streamlined, linear melody, until the intermittent spasms of guitar become almost calming. A theremin tone anchors the grinding and coughing of "Sweet Tooth" as it grows more paranoid and mechanical, and later makes an insistent earworm from bent-out-of-tune guitar notes. "Astronomer's Ballad" is a doe-eyed Spanish-language serenade that eventually devolves into tightly controlled chaos. None is quite as stunning as the graceful and evocative "Palimpsests", whose well-tamed fuzz-guitar line and increased patter of drums makes With's taps-like call to "wake up, wake up" seem like a test of strength.

The arrhythmic, stuttering beat and meandering melody of "Performance Evaluation Shuffle" is not the first song to send up cubicle culture, but few have sounded so suffocated and desperate. "Africa Just Wants to Have Fun" shows off the many modes of volcano! but flows more naturally than some of their other freewheeling material. The verse gradually builds to a brassy, step-ladder melody, which progresses to a damn-near funky staccato guitar line, as singer/songwriter Aaron With uses every bit of his elastic vocal range to lampoon Bono, most pointedly over the buzzing bass keyboards in its bridge ("Won't you make up your mind/ Are you bored or inspired... You're acting like Christ on the cross/ You look ridiculous").

As with many tracks on Paperwork, the floor drops out of "Tension Loop", but the percussion skitters along with impressive precision, never losing the pulse. The song emerges from gentle drums and a soft, busy guitar plucking, finally torn apart by jagged samples and electronic manipulation that go from pretty to hair-raising, while With's tempered croon grounds the song (with only minimal yodeling). "Slow Jam" (which is anything but) is the record's biggest gamble, a falsetto-laden ode to impotence.

Lord knows why "Kitchen Dance" ends it all with a half-sigh, offering all the band's tricks-- bi-lingual crooning, keyboards that go from whisper to scream, double-time drums that spike the pulse-- without any of the pacing, charm, or measure of the rest of the album. But without volcano!'s occasional over-indulgence, this record would be half as interesting. Even compared to the convulsive and ambitious pop of their better-established peers like Deerhoof, volcano! are set apart by their fearlessness.

MySpace: MySpace.com - volcano! - CHICAGO, Illinois - Experimental / Indie / Rock - www.myspace.com/volcanoisaband

- Jason Crock, October 9, 2008

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  • 4 weeks later...

Look! Here's some nice press on Spokes...

"The emotional intensity and waves of melody heard in their songs sound like they come as naturally to the band as breathing." (Drowned In Sound)

"Spokes were next and could well be my new favourite band. This 5-piece had me absorbed from the second they stepped on stage to the second they finished. With all the vigour and natural emotion of say, a temperate Broken Social Scene, their poignant waves of unassuming melody and up-tempo variation was captivating. (Narc Magazine)

"Spokes are a five-piece outfit from Manchester who, with their debut album 'People Like People Like You', have already started tongues wagging in praise for their inevitable effect on the future of music." (Subba Cultcha)

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volcano! are worthy of that exclamation mark. several in fact. possibly a bit of "!!!111" also.

drums that switch between freeform chaotic banging, primal motorik thumping and straight-up disco beats, often in the same song. a singer who sounds a little like thom yorke, only less of a whiney little bitch. lyrics slagging off bono! one of my favourite bands of recent times.

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Volcano! sent us this...have a looky! Why am I always doing exclamation marks!?!?

volcano! have made a frankly hilarious video for 'Africa Just Wants To Have Fun'. Taken from second album Paperwork, the video features singer Aaron With in a ever so slightly wet park in New York. We guarantee that you will see him in a new light after seeing the video!


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Here's the Drowned in Sound review of 'Paperwork'

Drowned In Sound // Releases / volcano! - Paperwork

In 2006, Chicago trio volcano! checked in with Beautiful Seizure, a freethinking, creative masterpiece, recognised by DiS as deserving a very rare and very perfect ten. A breath of fresh air without question but for a new band with an utterly unique approach, the difficult second album might prove to be more difficult than usual. So to Paperwork; did they stick or did they twist?

Although the songwriting and track structures have benefited from experience, the core sound of volcano! remains unchanged. Their building blocks are still made of strong and sometimes randomly hit drums, atmospheric tinkling bells, rhythmic vocal patterns that sweep and dash in an almost operatic recitative manner and the occasional burst of Spanish lyrics.

In its own right, Paperwork is a thrilling journey of exuberant swoops and peaks balanced against puzzling but rewarding thrills. This is an album that benefits from mulitple listens, just as those of volcano!'s sonic compatriots Battles and Foals. There are hooks and tunes aplenty but finding them takes a little time and attention, which in the scheme of things, can only be a good thing.

Amidst the tuneful expressionistic flight test, one track stands out as more of a curveball enigma than the rest. 'Slow Jam' has more in common with chocolate voiced lurve god Barry White than could be expected. Lyrically, its inspiration is red hot sex with the one you love. It's expressed with such amazing joy that will either bring a secret smile, concealing similar memories or perhaps a burst of green eyed envy at having never felt this damned good in the supernatural post love glow.

Paperwork is a worthy listen because it contains all the elements that had us take notice of volcano! the first time around. As such, moving forward was always going to be a challenge as where could they go from here? Less jaw dropping than its predecessor but still an excellent piece of work by any standard.

8 / 10

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Guest idol_wild

It's not often I say this, but I genuinely feel 5 for this gig is one of the finest gig admission prices I have ever encountered. Two well-established, international acts and a burgeoning local band to open up proceedings.


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It's not often I say this, but I genuinely feel 5 for this gig is one of the finest gig admission prices I have ever encountered. Two well-established, international acts and a burgeoning local band to open up proceedings.


u are totally correct a fantastic night ahead.......

any talk of Wood &/or Trump is BANNED

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Guest idol_wild
This was brilliant. Particularly enjoyed Spokes, I thought they were astounding.

For anyone who was there, I was the loner at the bar with the glasses and Lights.Action! t-shirt.

But yes, quality evening, hats off to all involved.

Ah yes, I did spot you.

Thank you for coming. I thought it was a terrific night of music. Spokes were even better than I anticipated, and I anticipated a lot. Their sense of dynamics is spot on.

GTS, as always, pleased me. They need to tell us all when a song has ended, though. I think some people were unsure when and where to applaud!

Volcano! were not as riotous as I expected...in fact, they were very tight and seemingly restrained, but they were still absolute mint. Ace band.

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GTS, as always, pleased me. They need to tell us all when a song has ended, though. I think some people were unsure when and where to applaud!

I did wonder this myself. I just clapped extra hard at the end! I'd never seen them before, just went down based on the rumblings about the gig on here. Glad I did as well, one of the better fivers I've spent lately!!

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