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It Hugs Back - Slow Wave

  by Erick Mertz

published: 19 / 6 / 2015

It Hugs Back - Slow Wave
Label: Safe and Sound Records
Format: CD


Otherworldly Englsh post rock act It Hugs Back mine a well spring of glittering indie rock on their third album

Beauty is a surreptitious quality. At least, in music I believe, it should emerge with an overwhelming sense of discretion. When I first placed It Hugs Back’s album 'Slow Wave' on the stereo and pressed play, that sense of beauty snuck up on me, catching me unaware. It didn’t take long though for that sense to burst through, glittering colourful before a succession of delightful fades. If you’re looking for a word, I’ll give you two to gnaw on. Otherworldly. And restrained. Songwriter and guitar maestro Matthew Simms (who you might also know from latter generation Wire) blows song structures off the line, replacing flat expectations with a penchant for curious pacing, languid moments and a delighted sense that is anything but from this stratosphere. Favourite tracks for me are the hushed 'Anyway' which lulls the listener to sleep, followed by 'Still Here' which offers gently rolling guitars, driving and urgent, a nearly ten minute track that deviates into sound effects and space rock distractions. What’s most welcome on 'Slow Wave' is how it dissolves time; songs like the opener 'Goodbye' abandon the pretence of traditional structure for an organic crescendo. It Hugs Back have been working in the shadows for some time, nine years to be exact, an interval of time that’s yielded three albums. While a few of their other releases have ventured into pop and krautrock, this feels like that comfortable pair of shoes. Or moon boots, continuing the analogy.

Track Listing:-
1 Goodbye
2 HappyBirthday
3 Endless Drive
4 Somnolence
5 Reprise
6 Everything's Ok
7 Anyway
8 Still Here
9 Shadows (Bernie's Song)

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