After recently highlighting their atmospheric version of Kraftwerk’s ‘The Model‘ by Satellites I thought I’d let you the public on one of the biggest secrets from last year. Initially the debut album ‘01‘ was a limited edition affair that was lavishly packaged that are all but gone. Though recently a standard version has been issued. Not that this collection needed any gimmicks, as you’ll see the album can stand up for itself. Fronted by the secretive and talented Johnny Vic, the band have coincidently just completed the follow-up platter entitled ’02’.
The acoustic guitar signals the beginning of the opening track ‘In A City‘ that erupts into a rousing anthem around one minute and thirty seconds mark. Just as you think they’re going to take it to a higher level they drop it back down to just the guitar again. “Will you sing my song” are the words and yes after a couple of plays I can imagine we all would. ‘Railway Line‘ is a piano based number. It’s a lighter affair that has little subtleties within it like random tambourines keeping it on track. The first real power track is ‘Small Neighbourhood‘ that is a full-blown rousing tune with life a plenty and an array of instruments that compliment the grounded vocals.
With ‘Best Days Of Our Lives‘ you fall back into the baroque harmonic sound of the 60’s. Sparse on sound but this makes every note illuminate around you. A merry-go-round of sounds where the guitar and layered vocals work particularly well. If there’s a weak link within this set then ‘Mindreading‘, maybe it. “Tell me what you are thinking“, Johnny repeats but even this song has it high points especially the percussive sounds that are so crisp throughout. ‘Calm of The Water‘ is a matured ballad that again echoes that 60’s sound, something I’ve heard in The Left Banke’s catalogue. So on that note it hits the right chord for me.
Unlike most albums that just filter away ‘01‘ seems to build up with each track and ‘Where Love Lies Bleeding‘ justifies this claim. The line “So pick up the pieces one by one and put them together again” mirrors the structure of this song perfectly and has some really cool wailing guitars. The story telling tune ‘Boy Cries Wolf‘ shows how landscapes of sound can overlap wonderfully. Knowing Johnny as I do, he’s not afraid to use any instrument at his disposal and it’s certainly works on here. The album ends with the sublime ‘Sale Of The Century‘ that’s certainly the jewel in the crown. Wading in over eight minutes it’s a piece of music you’d be happy to last double that. With its false end, military like drumming and phased backing vocals it finishes off the album just perfectly. This album could well be the ‘Sale Of The Century‘ and if ’02’ is half as good then it’s still better than most other albums out there! Play it once, play it many times 9/10.