Tuesday 3 May 2016

Simmer - Paper Prisms


1.  Faze
2. Control
3. Antwerp
4. Calendar
5. Sinewy
6. Gold
7. Charles
8. Caliche
9. Paper Prisms
10. Crease

Twelve months ago I reviewed Simmer's debut 7" "Yellow Streak". In February they returned with their debut LP, once again released by Dog Knights Productions. The Cheshire quintet won me over last year with their dreamy and ever so slightly grungy punk/indie/pop (whatever you want to call it). They've had a bit of a personnel shift too since "Yellow Streak" and the recording of the album, while gaining a lot of praise from the independent music press since the release. It came resplendent on either pale blue or white and was limited to just 300 copies. 

The good news is that Simmer hasn’t lost any of their dreamy sensibilities, but they’ve gained a slightly louder edge musically. Faze is a mix of everything I talked about in my opening paragraph, in terms of song-writing and instrumentation. It’s chock full of invigoration indie/punk/pop. There’s no denying their new found urgency either, as Control demonstrates. Sitting at just under two-minutes it is short but oh so sweet. Antwerp is the kind of song that makes you want to lie on grass on a summer day, staring up at the sky for hours. It’s tempered with thoughtful guitar and soaring vocal melodies that sit in the middle of it all. Calendar pretty much follows in the same vein, but goes by in a flash, while Sinewy’s longer instrumental build up shows off Simmer’s grungier sound a bit. They’re more belligerent on Gold. I was half expecting the vocals to be screamed out. I still can’t put a finger on any comparisons either (band wise). The second half of Paper Prisms definitely seems to have taken a harder turn, as they blast out Charles with plenty of feeling and even some swagger. I like the fact that there are no awkward pauses between most of the songs on the LP. Charles flows straight into Caliche, it’s off-kilter riffs and it’s calming nature. The title-track appears a lot more experimental but is probably the most beautiful song on the whole record in my opinion, though it merely acts as a precursor to closer Crease. Simmer has left it until the end to really show what they’re about and it’s bloody exciting. If you take the time to scratch the surface of the UK scene, you’ll come across brilliant acts just like Simmer, including The New Tusk and Leeds’ based newcomers Human Certainty. There’s a huge amount to be excited about and it all starts here!

You can stream and download Paper Prisms for cheap here:-

You can still grab copies of it on vinyl (both colours) from Dog Knights Productions via their store, as well as special t-shirts here - http://www.dogknightsproductions.limitedrun.com/products

Simmer Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/simmercheshire
Dog Knights Productions Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/dogknights/

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