Dance to the Radio 4x12" series Volume 3

posted 9 Nov 2009, 02:30 by Harry Cooke
[Dance To The Radio]

by Barry Jarlow

Chickenhawk - Scorpieau
Esben & The Witch - Skeleton Swoon 
Olfar - Husk
Airship - Spirit Party

Another month, another selection of the best of the output of Leeds based label 
Dance to the Radio, whose 4X12" series each select a single by four bands expected to make a stir over the coming months. Within this, they have tried to showcase a diversity too of output quite different from what would be expected from many labels. 

This is no different on this, the third release, with opening track by metal doers 
Chickenhawk coming thundering in with high tempo drums, bass and guitar crescendoing into singer Paulk Astick's screaming vocals. The song continues in a similar vein, with the occasional breakdown for a very solid and together three minutes that makes it an enjoyable listen even for those less inclined towards such heavy material.

The sharp contrast favoured by DttR is then rapidly shown as the tempo switches down to a clip of a 1940's BBC presenter-style talking about x-rays. This slowly leads into gentle synths and the haunting voice of 
Esben & The Witch's singer Rachel. This is complimented throughout with further lengthy samples talking about the subject matter. This song is a slow burner and all the more beautiful for it as repeated ideas continually mesh, seperate and crescendo.

Husk" by Olfar brings us back to much more standard radio friendly fare. Whilst this is in no way a bad thing in itself, little evidence is on display that radio will want to fall in love with Olfar. The chorus is pretty and the verses lead nicely into it, but the subject matter doesn't come across as particularly heartfelt and little is done to distinguish this from the myriads of bands doing the same things and doing it better.

The closing act, 
Airship, is one such band. Whilst at first listen they don't seem to offering much more than Olfar in terms of structure or content, apart from a slightly more dreamy edge to their output, a proper listen displays a breadth of ideas that means "Spirit Party" is a truly well constructed song. Drum shifts
 and uninterested vocals that manage to still complement the central theme make this a song with much to offer.

- Available from Dance to the Radio