ARC028: The Violets - The Lost Pages

The Lost Pages

Artist: The Violets

Release Date: 5th November 2007

Release Type: Album

Formats: CD, download

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Having assumed various different forms in their time together, The Violets debut album shifts comfortably from raucous punk (Forget Me Not) to Coldwave disco (Co-Plax, Troubles Of Keneat), through moments of sheer pop (Shade To Be, Parting Glances) and tender reflection (Half Light, Nature Of Obsession) Sometimes disturbing, sometimes soothing, yet all the while retaining a sense of otherworldliness that treads a cohesive path through 'The Lost Pages' thirty five minutes.

Hailing from South London's musically fertile New Cross, The Violets have emerged as one of 2007's brightest prospects. Led by the elemental spirit of blonde frontwoman Alexis Mary, The Violets play with stripped-down ferocity, they're earthshakingly powerful and equally spatial by turns. Guitarist Joe Daniel is Keith Levene meets The Normal, a maelstrom of controlled chaos. On 'Descend', built around feedback and shards of melody, he makes his guitar sound like a laptop. Although he lurks stage left, he is central to The Violets' show; it's the dynamic between him and Alex that allows her Dali-esque visions to succeed. TThe rhythm section also works with a conflicting dynamic; Melodic basslines wrap themselves around the avant-hardcore of Andrew Moran's drums, working against each other to provide seductively awkward grooves.

What could seem pretentious simply becomes poised: half the time they are destroying whilst the other half resurrecting, in perfect unity. When Alexis works against their rhythm The Violets are violent art-punk; when she chooses to play along they're gentle and melodic.

Often symbolic, the lyrics focus on deviant antics, sly characters and a railing against institution. Troubles Of Keneat is a playful, provocative tale of the nocturnal habits of a pair in seclusion, Descend offers an imperious confrontation, whilst others such as Hush Away are more subtle in their delivery. Sometimes making cryptic reference to psychological thrillers such as Hitchcock's Marnie, the words are not only theatrical references but also fused with actual experience and a dark humour. Songs like Half Light touch on a tender, rarer side of The Violets but all the songs create a celebratory and triumphant mood, discarding the dim reality and creating an environment rich in excitement. The Violets are punk fantasists playing for a different world.

1. Shade To Be
2. Descend
3. Troubles Of Keneat
4. In Your Statue
5. Forget Me Not
6. Co-Plax
7. Foreo
8. Hush Away
9. Half Light
10. Parting Glances
11. Nature Of Obsession