Club AC30 #3 (Club AC30, 2004)

by Jason

AC 30 3Club AC30 is a club in Kings Cross, London and centers around the shoegazer scene in Britain. The club has released four compilation singles consisting of three tracks each. These are usually tracks from bands or artists that have played at the club in the last year or so. On Club AC30 #3, Televise, Guitaro and The Meeting Places contribute tracks that are full of bliss and walls of sonic sound. I hope to start a series of reviews on this set of discs and #3 will be my first. In some cases, the bands are recently formed and their first released tracks appear in the series, while, for other bands, this is a way to release tracks not yet heard by their fans.

The first track on AC30 #3, “Smile,” is from a band called Televise. Televise is made up of ex-Slowdive member Simon Scott, drummer Nick King, guitar player Jamie Armstrong, and bass player Alex Dowding. “Smile” starts with a high pitch feedback sound that disappears into light strumming of an electric guitar. This quickly builds with bass and percussion kicking in. The sound is, well, thoughtful. What strikes me from the very beginning is Alex’ great bass work. As the build progresses, tambourine and layered, fuzzy guitars are added with some “oooooo’s” in the background. This quickly drops and builds once more to introduce Simon’s vocals. Unlike many shoegaze bands, the vox on this tune are right up front and rightly so. Simon’s voice is warm and quite inviting. In the bridge, the guitars are turned up and layered one upon the other to make an incredible wall of sound with feedback to boot. The song finishes with blips and clicks and leaves the listener wanting more.

Guitaro hails from Canada and contributes the second track called “Rainbow Brain.” Heather Warkentin, Mark Wiebe, Jeremy Epp, and Jeremy Unrau make up the electronic, sonically pleasing Guitaro. “Rainbow Brain” is an electronic driven song that begins with the hum of an organ, swirling sounds, and piano chords. Then, a driving beat kicks in that is akin to what you may hear in a mid-tempo dance club mix. Eventually, glimmering guitars kick and really fill out the track. It is an infectious track that finishes with simple piano chords. This is definitely a band I will be looking at in the near future.

The third and last track on the disc is a contribution by one of Somewhere Cold’s favorite bands, The Meeting Places. The Meeting Places is made up of Scott McDonald, Dean Yoshihara, Arthur Chan, and Chase Harris. Their spaced out brilliance is composed in sunny Los Angeles, California. “Two More Hours” is a space rock song that is slow in tempo and full of soaring moments. It begins with simple percussion, wistful soundscapes, and sprinklings of guitar. The bass work is simple and perfect, accenting the song exactly as it should. The moments in-between verses are the most beautiful. They really turn up the spacey, soaring guitars and make brilliant walls of blissful sound.

This is my first exposure to this series of cds and I cannot wait to hear the rest. Air Formation, Highspire, Sennen, The Zephyrs, and many more have contributed tracks to this series of cds. I think I’m in for a treat.

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