Grasscut- 1 inch/ 1/2 mile (Ninja Tune)
Instantly the best thing about Grasscut's long awaited debut album is how English it sounds, "1 inch/ 1/2 mile" could not be made by a band of any nationality with it's obscure eccentricity which by and far defines it as a clever debut never ducking out when it could be pigeonholed as difficult.
This debut is interesting mainly because it is a difficult listen but at times still essentially pop, opening track "High Down's" synth line exploding in various formats throughout the song, make it one of the albums stand out tracks, but the synths effectively make up the chorus, with lyrical verses building up to the classical and electronically minded extended middle sections. Grasscut combine vocal samples and out there noises and adjust them into perfectly constructed songs. While their live performance may be cold, the songs stick to the ear to make Grasscut's debut a haunting pressure which is at time both appealing and frightening, the latter particulary down to the variety of noises which appear at random in between and in the middle of songs with no warning. Also the cleverness is not just rooted in technology (of course grasscut clearly love the various gadgets included on the album) but within its connections to its traditional sound and the feeling of a very unique countryside essence, many tracks create a feeling of late night back road drives with the lights off, teetering beauty and certain tragedy.
An incredible and playful debut which proves that it is very possible to defeat contradictions by combining technology with traditional, electronic with humanity and the gritty with the smooth, perfect to absorb the multi textures with headphones to fade into a beautiful and unknown world. 8.5/10