Axle to grind i I'
Round, round, get around, they get around. Allegedly. Damien Love climbs into the cab with Sean Jackson of Glasgow’s 18 Wheeler. l mean. who‘d be in a hand these days. anyway? No
sooner do things start to happen than idiot wannabes like me with two theories and a handful of biros are
crawling all over you. The current line on
Wheeler runs something like: ‘()h. great, just what we need. another bunch of denim-clad, hairy
harmonising guitars from Scotland with a
Jr fetish.‘ While. pausing to wipe the chicken entrails from the crystal ball, you can be fairly conﬁdent in predicting that the reviews greeting the release of
Twin Action, their debut album, will draw
upon the phrases ‘Teenage Fanclub‘, ‘I’et Sounds", ‘retrc‘ and precious little else. Hell. l‘ve done it myself. Sean Jackson, vocalist and main songwriter,
you stand accused.
‘1 think there's maybe two songs on the album that
sound like Dinosaur Jr, and there area lot
that sound like other things — and things that don‘t even sound like other things. As far as I'm concemed, l‘d be happy if there were a thousand denim-clad Scottish bands who sound like Dinosaur Jr. l'm into it. if anyone compares us to them. or
Teenage Fanclub, it‘s not an unfavourable
comparison to “oh. that reminds rne of them“. I mean, they‘re some of my favourite bands. in the same way that people like The Pastels and Orange Juice were a big influence on Teenage Fanclub. it‘s the same with them for us and a few other bands.
of things go as well. Y’know.‘
We‘re sort of the next generation, really.
"The penny dropped when you saw them ‘cause they were people you saw in the pub as well as being 1 an amazing hand. So you just think, aww, I‘ll have at
Twin xir‘tion is a record that wears its influences
; proudly. and Sean is neither going to deny the fact nor get particularly hung up on it. Centre piece of sorts to the album‘s first half is ‘Golden Candles‘. a three-part mini-epic that starts out as a string-soaked, soaring thing, then falls through a school of dolphins : into a Buffalo Springfield fairground waltz to end in ‘Peter Tork's got a date' territory. The overall impression. though. is of deep drinks from the paddling pool of Brian Wilson.
‘That was recorded incredibly quickly, in about four ‘ hours or something. it wasn't like we were labouring j over it to get it to sound like The Beach Boys. itjust sort of came out that way. I mean. we knew when we were writing it, “this sounds a bit like The Beach I ; Boys“, but when you tape it and listen back to it. you think . . . oh. that really does sound like them! i think when you listen to music, you’re gonna be influenced .by the last thing you heard. i listen to lots of different things and tend to write lots of different types of
For the debut front a ‘young guitar band' 'l‘win Action, dolphin noises and all, takes a fairly I ambitious leap into the possibilities of the studio. ‘Live, we‘re pretty different,‘ Jackson claims. ‘A 7 couple ofsongs from the record you‘d not recognise. We like to get the guitars up really loud, as heavy as possible, and then thrash through it — we're not interested in getting pianos and orchestras and that sort of thing onstage. The best bands l've ever seen - Dinosaur Jr the first time they played Glasgow was absolutely incredible. Mudhoney supporting Sonic Youth — these bands just turn up incredibly loud, so distorted you couldn‘t tell what was going on! We‘re not really like that. but l‘d like us to be. But when you‘ve got all that technology in the studio, whyjust do what you'd do live? You could do something completely different. It's more fun, basically, to arse around with all the gear in there.‘
And more fun, too, to say, ‘Bolloeks, Mr Critic, 18 Wheeler are cool because . . .‘
1) They only bothered to send out one demo. 2) They‘re threatening to go techno. Seriously (?). 3) They‘re planning to play Shetland. 4) They know that when life ends young it sounds like a big clatter of drums. 5) They sound like Teenage Fanclub.
Och.jings. I knew l‘d do that. 18 Wheeler play the Little Top at Tln Tire Park on Sat 30. Twin Action is on Creation Records.
Name that tune
Exploding the gulf between different languages, numbers, mental evocation and luscious orchestration, Global Communications fulfil the multiple definitions their name suggests. But Mark Pritchard and Tom Middleton are also acutely aware of the limitations that words can impose. Operating under three main monikers, Global Communications - ‘Ilghter emotions, reflective, sad’, Reload - ‘ln yer face, darker’ - and link - ‘ciub based’ - Tom and Mark carefully hone the range of each proiect. ‘We’ve chosen different names to give us more freedom musically,’ says Tan, ‘baslcally, one sound, one field.’
Titles are ditched on the final version of their album, “76:14’ in favour of
numbers to represent the tracks. Tom explains this was out of consideration for the listener. ‘if you give a name to
a piece of music, you define it, depriving people of their imagination.’ (in hacks such as ‘14:31’ (released
last year as ‘Obselon Ml-fios’) you can see the logic In this. Astoundineg stirring, you don’t bear ‘14:31’, you feel it. You feel its ticking clock, a cliche-free objectification of time, gradually unfurling chords and careworn minimal melody as though they had been audible on wavelengths in the womb. The poised, crafted construction of ‘76:14’ is partly born from Tom’s classical training in cello and piano. ‘We try to create proper orchestrated structures,’ he says. When Global Communications play at Flow, their techniques in creating these structures will be laid bare as they put together a new track on the spot. it is a unique opportunity to deconstruct the mechanics behind some of the most sublime electronics around. ‘it’s fitting really,’ says tom, ‘and yet another expansion and interpretation of our name.’ (Bethan Cole) Global Communications play as part of Flow at ﬂamway, Glasgow on Sat 30.
The List 29 July ll August 1994 35