There’s this really weird street in Portslade, way up at the top end by the apocalyptic beach. The people who live on one side of the street have a completely different postcode to the people who live on the other side of the street. And then there’s that apocalyptic beach, full of stones and salt and bits of broken glass.
So you take three former members of two bands – Yeast and Gorse – who are full of native Portslade stone and salt and broken glass, and who have one postcode that’s 80s indie, and one postcode that’s a punk/hardcore hybrid, and you call them Viaduct.
This is an attempt to “reconnect with the music of their youth,” they say. “Wall-of-fuzz shoegaze and indie rock, the frayed punk melodies of Husker Du and Leatherface and the open-minded variants of hardcore found on labels like Dischord, AmRep and Touch & Go.”
Don’t mistake these touchstones as an attempt to recapture youth long gone, this is a band of today. The ep gives us four tracks to feed on.
- Wake: An angry cry to those in power who are selling all our tomorrows for trinkets today. Mid paced indie rocker with slower passages which allow the lyrics to breathe.
- Salvage: Groovy bass starts this track before the band kicks in with a nagging riff. The lyric; Like a child, we’re all afraid sums up the song’s regretful refrain of trying to make the best of where we are whilst being scared and unsure of ourselves.
- Path of Least Resistance: A track about an unbalanced and dysfunctional relationship. The guitar chimes a clean sound before descending into a grungy fuzzy riff mirroring the turmoil of the lyrics.
- Toast: Enslavement to self-inflicted abuse and what it does to those around us. An almost funereally slow riff with tinnitus feedback giving an aural representation to physical and mental pain.
Many bands are taking 80s genres and bands as a reference point currently but make music which doesn’t offer anything which is different and or better than their musical forefathers. Viaduct has managed to take their influences and make new music with its own merits.
What all four songs share in common is a feeling of ennui and trying to make the best of situations where regret hangs heavy and no easy decisions can be made for yourself and those we love. Sad music for our times as we live in an age of quarrel.
The four tracks here are hopefully the first of many more to come. Recommended.
FFO: Husker Du, Leatherface