Electrelane - Axes

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has anyone heard the copy of the new Electrelane album that has appeared on t'internet recently and does anyone know if this is what it's supposed to sound like, because i can't tell if this has yet to be finally mastered or if this is how Albini intended it!

Lee F# (fsharp), Wednesday, 23 March 2005 22:55 (fourteen years ago) link

i mean, i think it sounds great, but this is stripped even by his standards.

Lee F# (fsharp), Wednesday, 23 March 2005 22:57 (fourteen years ago) link

I keep forgetting to get their second album, now a third!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 23 March 2005 22:58 (fourteen years ago) link


sorry to be pedantic.

Lee F# (fsharp), Wednesday, 23 March 2005 23:02 (fourteen years ago) link


sorry i can't count.

Lee F# (fsharp), Wednesday, 23 March 2005 23:03 (fourteen years ago) link

description here doesn't sound hugely like what i'm hearing, but that could be because of an unhealthy sufeit of adjectives.

Lee F# (fsharp), Wednesday, 23 March 2005 23:06 (fourteen years ago) link

Listening to this for the first time right now - it really is excellent so far, 'Eight Steps' in particular is absolutely gorgeous. I love how Electrelane evolve so precisely from album to album.

it's odd that I've lost interest in every other band with this sound I used to like, but Electrelane are still so compelling.

also: Axes as in chopping, or Axes as in graphs?

The Lex (The Lex), Thursday, 31 March 2005 09:21 (fourteen years ago) link

oh yes - apparently there was a printing fuck-up with the promos, which have gaps between the tracks when it's meant to be one continuous 58-minute piece of sound. just so you know.

that said I'm listening to a promo and the gaps aren't that distracting.

The Lex (The Lex), Thursday, 31 March 2005 09:26 (fourteen years ago) link

How have they evolved Alex?

NickB (NickB), Thursday, 31 March 2005 09:29 (fourteen years ago) link

they've totally mastered the art of both refining and expanding their template from album to album. evolving rather than changing direction. Axes is lusher and more linear than The Power Out which was more sophisticated and less punky than Rock It To The Moon, even though the basics are constant.

The Lex (The Lex), Thursday, 31 March 2005 09:41 (fourteen years ago) link

Ah okay. More interesting textures then? I've seen them live a few times now where those sorts of developments probably don't come through too well. Need to hear the rekkid I guess.

NickB (NickB), Thursday, 31 March 2005 09:47 (fourteen years ago) link

oh, every time I've seen them live they've been exactly the same. yes, more interesting textures/structures/arrangements...

The Lex (The Lex), Thursday, 31 March 2005 09:55 (fourteen years ago) link

cheers for the info Alex - but i still wonder if there's more to it, eg i think it's 'those pockets are people' where the track ends abruptly, but it doesn't sound deliberatly abrupt, more like a mistake, but the problem is you can't tell. that's the only problem with the otherwise entirely sound industry of piracy...

it's definitely their best yet. every track has grabbed me, except 'business or otherwise' which is a fraction too odd, even for my tastes.

Lee F# (fsharp), Thursday, 31 March 2005 11:06 (fourteen years ago) link

it's definitely a mistake Lee: when I said that the gaps weren't too distracting, I hadn't got to the 'Those Pockets Are People'/'The Partisan' segue which certainly should NOT have a gap.

maybe it is a cunning tactic to get people to buy the finished product.

The Lex (The Lex), Thursday, 31 March 2005 11:15 (fourteen years ago) link

i think that making an album that properly kick my ass with its goodness is enough of a cunning tactic to make my shell out. i am a huge fan of non-histrionic, kind-of-post-rock sound that they've made their own, and i think you are right about their development (although i was a wee bit disappointed they never did more in the vein of 'I Want To Be The President').

i notice that Albini has gone from referencing Martin Hannett as usual to outright stealing from him with the broken glass sounds on the first track, a la Joy Division's 'Insight'.

Lee F# (fsharp), Thursday, 31 March 2005 11:26 (fourteen years ago) link

Broken glass sounds always make me think of Pere Ubu's 'Sentimental Journey'. Maybe that's where 'Bino's coming from there (haven't heard it though so I dunno!).

NickB (NickB), Thursday, 31 March 2005 11:45 (fourteen years ago) link

just heard "Bells" off fluxblog and i love it.

jed_ (jed), Thursday, 31 March 2005 13:32 (fourteen years ago) link

Playing this album for the first time was a very "wow" moment, it's been great watching them evolve over the course of the three albums. It might not be as accessible as the last one, but it is probably their best yet. Great production by Albini too..

Michael F Gill (Michael F Gill), Thursday, 31 March 2005 16:30 (fourteen years ago) link

it's awful says i

Jams Murphy (ystrickler), Thursday, 31 March 2005 16:39 (fourteen years ago) link

yes we await your explanation

Michael F Gill (Michael F Gill), Thursday, 31 March 2005 18:33 (fourteen years ago) link

everyone alive wants yancers

Michael F Gill (Michael F Gill), Thursday, 31 March 2005 18:33 (fourteen years ago) link

yeah i wrote a quickie blog thingy about it. i would explain more but i don't wanna put too much more energy into that record.

Jams Murphy (ystrickler), Thursday, 31 March 2005 18:50 (fourteen years ago) link

Ah, didn't seee that. I disagree with your post, but I did like the long jams of the first album.

(will write more as the album sinks in)

Michael F Gill (Michael F Gill), Thursday, 31 March 2005 19:02 (fourteen years ago) link

the weird thing about arguing against them is how much i liked the power out for many months. but that live show did me in.

Jams Murphy (ystrickler), Thursday, 31 March 2005 19:03 (fourteen years ago) link

do people really not like them live? the funny thing is, Electrelane are the only support band who have ever made me go away and buy a record, and that was a loooong time ago now. i think they're awesome live, if a bit frumpy.

Lee F# (fsharp), Thursday, 31 March 2005 19:19 (fourteen years ago) link

they actually have a new bassist for this album.

jellybean (jellybean), Thursday, 31 March 2005 19:42 (fourteen years ago) link

Anything on here as good as The Valleys?

Melissa W (Melissa W), Friday, 1 April 2005 00:29 (fourteen years ago) link

it's awful says

it's fucking horrible. and i LOVED the last one.

cutty (mcutt), Friday, 1 April 2005 00:32 (fourteen years ago) link

err, i was quoting yancey there.

cutty (mcutt), Friday, 1 April 2005 00:32 (fourteen years ago) link

the only thing close to the valleys is i keep losing heart which is nice. but there is just too much useless shit on this album.

cutty (mcutt), Friday, 1 April 2005 01:16 (fourteen years ago) link

four weeks pass...
I've done a review of this for a small mag. Btw I've only just started reviewing records so bear that in mind -

Electrelane – Axes (Too Pure)

The all-female foursome from Brighton comes armed with some big ideas for this, their third album. Recorded in Chicago with Steve Albini, it’s a record that frequently treads that fine line between ambition and pretension, but for the most part the band gets it right. The album’s sound is a dense fug of driving guitars, pounding drums, twinkling piano and, sporadically, the elfin voice of Verity Susman. Appearing in support are a male voice choir, train samples and a song heavily influenced by Eastern European folk music. It’s a heady mix, but this is clearly a band that is in full control of its sound.

The album takes a while to hit its stride, with a couple of missteps in the middle (the less said about the unlistenable ‘Business or Otherwise’, the better), but everything comes together for the last few tracks – songs merge into one another and the momentum takes you along with it, culminating in the epic closer ‘Suitcase.’ Another highlight is a furious take on the French Resistance folk song ‘The Partisan’, which was made famous by Leonard Cohen. Full of punk energy and rage (apparently directed at a certain Mr GW Bush), Susman’s wails are almost drowned in a sea of overdriven guitars.

It’s a record that finds equal value in noise and beauty. Fans of Mogwai, PJ Harvey and especially Sonic Youth will find plenty to sink their teeth into here.


Crackity (Crackity Jones), Saturday, 30 April 2005 10:50 (fourteen years ago) link

Got a promo of this out of nowhere. Had never heard anything by them. Hello krautrock! Based on three listens, I don't understand why they didn't boil this down to a four-song ep or something....it's like they wanted to stretch a handful of ideas ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut. Not bad, but not great.

Raymond Cummings (Raymond Cummings), Tuesday, 3 May 2005 14:32 (fourteen years ago) link

I wish there were more vocals; that might endear them to me more.

Raymond Cummings (Raymond Cummings), Tuesday, 3 May 2005 14:38 (fourteen years ago) link

get the last album then. it's perfect.

cutty (mcutt), Tuesday, 3 May 2005 14:49 (fourteen years ago) link

i've listened to this album once, and moments of it are stunning. the male voice choir stuff towards the end ("i keep losing heart" and seemingly buried in the mix with the banjos and kitchen sinks on the final track) is just joyous.

it's odd that I've lost interest in every other band with this sound I used to like, but Electrelane are still so compelling.

is OTM inna OTM stylee.

grimly fiendish (grimlord), Saturday, 14 May 2005 11:03 (fourteen years ago) link

second listen now in progress while i PACK for my HOLIDAY, hurrah.

"two for joy" is the pinnacle of the whole post-krautrock thang. what's it reminding me of? the "aaaaAAAaaaaaAAAAaaaaAAAAAAaaaaahhhh" thing? probably just stereolab, but there's something else.

o wow, the big organ at the end. god, i love this song.

grimly fiendish (grimlord), Saturday, 14 May 2005 11:45 (fourteen years ago) link

There's an article on them in the Wire this month. There's a comment where they say something along the lines of "We wanted to deliberately break from the winning formula of our last record" which reminds me a lot of something Mark E Smith would say (and do.)

I feel I am the only who not only loves "Business or Otherwise," but finds it totally hilarious.

Michael F Gill (Michael F Gill), Saturday, 14 May 2005 12:21 (fourteen years ago) link

They're playing Glasgow on Monday. I am a bit scared of this "rubbish live" thing. I have no idea how they do the choir thing in concert.

Alba (Alba), Saturday, 14 May 2005 12:35 (fourteen years ago) link

i'm getting round that problem by not going to see them. too much to do before i go away etc.

grimly fiendish (grimlord), Saturday, 14 May 2005 12:48 (fourteen years ago) link

St Tropez tan, yes?

Alba (Alba), Saturday, 14 May 2005 12:50 (fourteen years ago) link

[pssssshhh] ... gaah, rumbled.

grimly fiendish (grimlord), Saturday, 14 May 2005 12:54 (fourteen years ago) link

I didn't think they were that bad at all when I saw them live.

cozen (Cozen), Saturday, 14 May 2005 13:16 (fourteen years ago) link

Were they actively good?

Alba (Alba), Saturday, 14 May 2005 13:19 (fourteen years ago) link

They were actively good when I saw them live, but that was before they'd done any choir stuff at all - loud chunky 4/4 riffs and big organ noises. They've got a surprising amount of stage presence.

The Lex (The Lex), Saturday, 14 May 2005 13:22 (fourteen years ago) link

i'm bummed. not as good as the last one. nothing like "the valleys" sadly

breezy, Saturday, 14 May 2005 17:16 (fourteen years ago) link

yeah this album totally blows

Aerodynamic (Aerodynamic), Saturday, 14 May 2005 17:59 (fourteen years ago) link

wait...on second listen i really like it.
the only thing that's fucking it up is the blank spaces at the end of the songs.
those are only on the advanced copies right?

Aerodynamic (Aerodynamic), Saturday, 21 May 2005 20:24 (fourteen years ago) link

Yeah, each track is supposed to be sequed into the next one.

Michael F Gill (Michael F Gill), Saturday, 21 May 2005 22:14 (fourteen years ago) link

does anyone have the retail version on slsk?

Aerodynamic (Aerodynamic), Saturday, 21 May 2005 22:53 (fourteen years ago) link


Roger Fidelity (Roger Fidelity), Sunday, 22 May 2005 17:57 (fourteen years ago) link

is that the correct spelling?
cause nothing's coming up when i try to add him to my list.

Aerodynamic (Aerodynamic), Sunday, 22 May 2005 18:09 (fourteen years ago) link

(rim shot)

Michael F Gill (Michael F Gill), Monday, 23 May 2005 01:25 (fourteen years ago) link


Aerodynamic (Aerodynamic), Monday, 23 May 2005 01:30 (fourteen years ago) link

I really like this album. It is overall a lot better than the Power Out although The Valleys will remain my favourite song by them unless they do something incredible. I think it's definitely a step away from the previous album, less post-punk, more Sonic Youth and Stereolab but not really. I really like the cover art too for some reason.

dog latin (dog latin), Monday, 23 May 2005 16:17 (fourteen years ago) link

this album is in no way The Power Out, one of the most perfect/gorgeous/rockin albums i've heard in the past couple of years. this seems more like an in-between experiment gone right. "bells" and "two for joy" as openers are equal to anything on power out, and "the partisan" is a fun piece of rock-my-socks-off. then the intrumental stuff is strictly down the line. some of it (the beginning half of "if not now, when?" "eight steps", "atom's tomb," and the amazing closer "suitcase") is just great, while other bits (the second half of "if not now, when", "those pockets of people") are merely mediocre. and then there is the laughable, completely unlistenable "business or otherwise". you can almost make out albini's cackle in the background. what a fuckin piece of garbage, fucks up the whole album. finally "i keep losing heart" is stunning. unmudied lake-type stunning.

so. that's what i think of the album. frustratingly inconsistant, but worth it for the majority of the tracks, which are for the most part excellent. electrelane is a band that seems to consistantly put out music that is proegressive, interesting, and compelleing. and it's pretty and kicks ass alot too.

rockaction (rockaction), Monday, 23 May 2005 21:20 (fourteen years ago) link

one year passes...
is this like... a holocaust album?

s1ocki, Thursday, 5 April 2007 19:27 (twelve years ago) link

twelve years pass...

I'm learning "I Keep Losing Heart" on banjo!

I like that song

all four of their albums were spectacular in my opinion

Dan S, Friday, 7 June 2019 00:29 (three months ago) link

^ they rule

i will never make a typo ever again (Karl Malone), Friday, 7 June 2019 00:36 (three months ago) link

I should listen to the first album again. I'd been put off of it by a middling review (probably from AMG), but recently hearing a few isolated tracks from it has been ear-opening.

This album was always a hit whenever I played it in the bar I worked.

Yerac, Friday, 7 June 2019 00:49 (three months ago) link

unfortunately it's the only one of theirs i own, and one of the records is warped. if i get drunk enough i can convince myself it's mildly psychedelic, but in a normal state it's nauseating to listen to.

i will never make a typo ever again (Karl Malone), Friday, 7 June 2019 00:50 (three months ago) link


Dan S, Friday, 7 June 2019 00:51 (three months ago) link

hard to believe they were so ignored, it makes me suspicious of the whole narrative of the 2000-2009 era

Dan S, Friday, 7 June 2019 01:09 (three months ago) link

I put The Valleys and To the East (other albums) on sooooo many mixes. I don't know why they weren't as big/bigger than Stereolab.

Yerac, Friday, 7 June 2019 01:13 (three months ago) link


Dan S, Friday, 7 June 2019 01:17 (three months ago) link

Was hoping this revive was about a reunion, I think I had a dream about that years ago.

Eid y’self Fitr (JoeStork), Friday, 7 June 2019 01:52 (three months ago) link

You mean in 2011-2012?

But gods I wish they'd get back together too, I missed all my chances to see them live.

Good band

Lactose Shaolin Wanker (Raymond Cummings), Friday, 7 June 2019 21:03 (three months ago) link

I saw them early on, about 2001, but I'd love to have seen them again later - the first album isn't bad but it's my least favourite (which is unusual for me, I'm usually the early-stuff-is-better guy)

Colonel Poo, Friday, 7 June 2019 21:09 (three months ago) link

Axes is my favourite of theirs because it's so, like, audacious in its structure

flamboyant goon tie included, Friday, 7 June 2019 21:29 (three months ago) link

The series of instrumentals into the Cohen cover is one of my favourite sequences on a rock album

flamboyant goon tie included, Friday, 7 June 2019 21:29 (three months ago) link

So in between "Bells" and "The Partisan"?

Serious question: is the album title supposed to be the plural for axis or ax?

Ya. I guess it's a lot of instrumentals! I love this approach. I think the title means both

flamboyant goon tie included, Saturday, 8 June 2019 21:07 (three months ago) link

'business or otherwise' is one of the genuinely most out-there compositions by a uk rock band in living memory

imago, Saturday, 8 June 2019 23:52 (three months ago) link

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