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Review: 'Former Utopia'
'Collapsar (EP)'   

-  Label: 'Damnably'
-  Genre: 'Rock' -  Release Date: '31st January 2013'

Our Rating:
Locating their style between alt-folk and heavy post punk, London upstarts Former Utopia got their sound together and blasted the tracks out in a day in their rehearsal room, before Matthew Barnhart mixed and mastered the material at Echolab in Texas. The resultant 5-tracker (or 6 if you count the download bonus track, a cover of Kath Bloom’s ‘Come Here’) evokes the spirit and sound of the American alternative scene of the late 80s and early 90s.

The gentle indie folk of ‘A Love Like Infinity’ is the calm before the storm, although wonky guitar notes and slaps of sludgy bass at unexpected moments hint at what’s to come.

‘Schism’ has a Dinosaur Jr flavour, a fat, fuzzed-out overdriven guitar dominating between the gentler verses, culminating in a big, crunchy solo straight from the J Mascis school of soloing. ‘May Day’ tugs at the heartstrings, before tearing them out. ‘Blue Fugue’ owes a substantial debt to Pavement, but also has a jazz / blues element and a strolling bassline, while the closer, ‘Double Negative’ is reminiscent of urgent guitar scrubbing of early Nirvana.

If you haven’t figured it already, Former Utopia inject new life into the faded denims of grungey slackerdom, with the crunching guitars and twisted pop dynamism of the Pixies and the plaintive tones and monster solos of Dinosaur Jr. And it’s totally welcome.

Former Utopia Online
  author: Christopher Nosnibor

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Former Utopia - Collapsar (EP)