Monday, 21 June 2010

Music from Manchester (on Monday)

Instead of picking up this week's new songs, I've decided to do something different for this week's Music on Monday. This post is the first in a short series I've got planned on new bands from Manchester, partly in the wake of the FUC51 thing and the ongoing flame war on Twitter that goes with it.

The first Manchester band I'm going to big up is The Switch. They've graced these pages before, when I reviewed their Dum Dum Girls support slot and gave them a hearty thumbs-up. Since then, I've located their Myspace page, found out a little about them and discovered that they've posted some new music in the past week.

The Switch in action.

The band are four: programmer and bassist Tom Harris, Colin Dunkerley on synths and programming, guitarist Anthony Grantham and singer Caroline Sterling. Their origins are a little hazy, but they have been playing gigs since the start of the year at least.

The Switch live is a wall of dirty synth and guitar noise, but The Switch on record (or MP3, rather), is somewhat more of a polished proposition. At first glance, their sound does not deviate hugely from the synth+guitar+laptop shoegaze-revival style, but underpinning their waves of ethereal noise are some really quite clubby beats, more in line with classic-period Underworld or Prodigy. This sets them apart from other female-fronted dream-pop acts. Live especially, it also helps that Caroline commands the stage and can pout and pose with the best.

Their latest offering, Stowaway, is one of the most dance-oriented of their tracks, featuring fractured vocals and an electro-esque bassline. Also standing out on their Myspace is Ser Etico, a very early song, which is hazy and atmospheric, and Heartbreaker, which has a killer pop chorus.


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