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9/10

And So I Watch You From Afar - Gangs

Pete Withers
Pete Withers 16 May at 09.00
And So I Watch You From Afar - Gangs Cover

Written and recorded in a matter of weeks, ASIWYFA obviously work amazingly under pressure...

Written and recorded in a matter of weeks, following a terrifying last-minute decision to scrap an entire album’s worth of material, it’s to And So I Watch You From Afar’s eternal credit that not one second of ‘Gangs’ could possibly be mistaken for a rush job. In fact, the self-imposed time restraints have merely served to sharpen the quartet’s focus in quite glorious fashion. Intended to represent the band’s collective experiences of travelling the world over the past two years, ‘Gangs’ is a journey in every sense of the word, and the attention to detail is stunning. Seamlessly flowing from repetitive, hypnotic guitar patterns to delectable swathes of effortless grace, the record builds and burns, stacking surprise upon surprise before breaking it all back down to delicately strummed moments of reflective reprieve. Partial as they are to the odd heads-down riff-a-thon, ASIWYFA manage to sidestep the depressingly over-used quiet / loud dynamic with aplomb, constantly keeping the listener on their toes by shifting from the euphoric to the intricate without warning, forever ensuring that not one element overstays its welcome. By turns an utterly immersive tour de force and a series of thrills as transient as the breeze, ‘Gangs’ triumphs on every possible level.

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