Song, by Toad

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Edinburgh School for the Deaf

I never really knew much about Edinburgh band Deserters Deserve Death, never mind seriously getting into their music.  They appear to have vanished now, and in their place appear Edinburgh School for the Deaf.

Going to their MySpace or Facebook fan pages there seems to be little reason given for the change of name, whether it be simply a new direction for what is essentially the same band, or a re-jig enforced by a shuffle in personnel.

In any case, I was in Avalanche Records on the Grassmarket the other day (getting my traditional lecture from Kev about how I was doing everything wrong and destroying the nation’s independent record shops in the process) and I happened to catch a glimpse of a very nicely designed EP, just out of the corner of my eye.

I know nothing about the band, but a lot of my friends whose music taste I trust seem to have been ‘liking’ them on Facebook recently, so I thought that for three quid I should give it a go.  And a good thing too, because these guys seem to have some really promising stuff.

The first thing I noticed was of course the extreeeemely fashionable growl of ultra lo-fi recording, particularly in the guitar sound.  I have grown to be a bit wary of my own enthusiasm around this kind of grumbly noise, because I suspect there are times when I can be sufficiently smitten by the engineering of a record that at times I neglect to check whether or not the actual songs are any good.

In the case of Edinburgh School for the Deaf, generally, it works.  Listening to the EP as a whole I might be tempted to suggest that I think they could do with a few more moments here and there where something breaks through the overall fug of the scuzzy, shoegazey sound.  That’s more my way of saying that they might not be quite there yet, but they most certainly seem to be heading in the right direction, rather than a pointed criticism.

In fact, if you go to their MySpace page then you can have a wee listen to a couple of tracks – Love is Terminal and Of Scottish Blood and Symphonies – which are, in my view, at least as good as if not better than the tracks on the EP, with the former a cracking pop tune, and the latter a slow-building epic  This is a very promising sign, and suggests there might well be plenty more to come from these guys.

I think that with this kind of music the biggest challenge is not to let the songs be overwhelmed by the sound.  Melody isn’t always the first thing you think of growly shoegaze but, however minimal, I think a judicious use of melody is often the key to making the songs stand out from one another properly.  Edinburgh School for the Deaf have certainly got the sound nailed, and if they can continue to write good songs then I reckon we could have another very promising band on our hands here.

Edinburgh School for the Deaf – 11 Kinds of Loneliness
(from 11 Kinds EP)

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Edinburgh School for the Deaf – Love. Is. Terminal.
(naughty MySpace rip)

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16 witty ripostes to Edinburgh School for the Deaf

  1. avatar

    so good live too.

  2. avatar

    Are they? The fuckers, I will have to get down and see them soon then.

  3. avatar
    Rampant Chutney Consumerism

    they are nowhere near as good as Scrap Brain…..cough

  4. avatar

    Oh for Christ’s sake.

  5. avatar

    I really like “Love. Is. Terminal.”

  6. avatar

    I also really like “13 Holy Crowns” on their myspace as it really brilliantly reminds me of Final Fight the arcade game mixed with some Simple Minds – Dont You Forget About Me singing :)

  7. avatar

    Is there anything which doesn’t remind you of a computer game, Madcow?

  8. avatar

    Not really….there are a lot of things in life that are quite similar. Like – trying to gain experience points to get better at a certain skill, or persistently trying to jump over a ravine (wait – I didnt do that.)

    If anything though I wish life were more like a computer game. Regular savepoints to correct mistakes you might make and, often, you may own a lightsaber and be able to Force choke wookies.

  9. avatar

    Force choking wookies shouldn’t be possible. Wookies are too cool to be force choked.

    And shut the fuck up about wookies anyway. This is not a Star Wars computer game review site, dammit!

  10. avatar

    Speaking of Wookies, have you ever seen the Star Wars Christmas special where Chewy and the rest of the cast fulfill an onerous contractual obligation by going to the Wookie home planet for the holidays and learning the true meaning of something or other? Bea Arthur was in it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Star_Wars_Holiday_Special

  11. avatar

    Someone please tell me he has just made that up.

  12. avatar

    If only it were so.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXcb7VPw59s

  13. avatar

    Oh. Dear. God.

  14. avatar

    I’ve not seen it actually!

    Believe it or not I am not a huge fan of the Star Wars films it has to be said. I quite liked some of the expanded universe stories in the graphic novels and in some of the computer games.

    Also, sorry Toad but you only have yourself to blame for all this here talk!! You know you love it really. Open yourself up to it. Dont be afraid.

  15. avatar

    I’ve seen that. It is every bit as shit as you think it’ll be, don’t put yourself through it.

  16. avatar

    I wasn’t intending to.

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