Quad Throw Salchow - The Unwelcome Guest/Speed (Single)
A nice, double A side single from this UK-based, electro rock gang. “The Unwelcome Guest” is carried along on a laid back bass line and twinkly little electronics while “Speed” picks up the pace and rolls along on a higher tempo with more jarring electronic noises.
What really makes this stand up from the hordes of trendy NME watching bands is the sleazy vocals of O de Lanzac. It brings to mind The Knife being backed by Kasabian. The combination of weird female vocals and simplistic songs has proved a winning formula for others and with any luck QTS should be able to tap into that market with the right push.
Odd, experimental Krautrock vibes but not without an amazing quirky charm. With a rolling bassline, understated electronic percussion, and a vocal that could frighten Wes Craven, this is something of an oddball delight. The B-side, Speed, is the perfect complement with equally nefarious but utterly lovable elements. Don't ask us what that name is all about though...
Simon Singleton (Pure Groove)
A record that oozes post-punk from every orifice. Reduced, electronic, mechanical, full of reverb, and with dark and venomous vocals courtesy of artist/producer O de Lanzac. ‘The Unwelcome Guest’ builds layer upon repetitive layer to create a sense of disturbance and movement not unlike The Fall’s early work, or as if Kraftwerk uprooted to late 70’s Manchester and all got smashed on absinthe. De Lanzac’s vocals burst over the mechanical backing like a horrible Patty Smith drugged and singing gibberish in the bath, which completely contrasts the mechanical beats. Absolutely diabolical… and brilliant.
“With one of the strongest voices I’ ve ever heard, backed by a pseudo-punk electronic beat, on The Unwelcome Guest (Try Science) Quad Throw Salchow bring to mind a milder version of the Klaxons.”
Drowned in sound
Dear reader, believe me, I’m attempting to take Quad Throw Salchow seriously, really I am. Because both the tracks on their new double A-side, namely ‘The Unwelcome Guest’ and ‘Speed’, are good, nay, great, dark, cynical forays into the city’s (any city’s) seedy, gruesome underbelly, shot through with a restlessness that results from paranoia and chill rather than from drinking too much cola.
It’s just that, despite the chugging guitars and grinding beats and irresistible bass lines, there’s something distracting me. Which is that the voice here, the sort of voice that would probably occur if Bob Dylan was talking in his sleep (only on the night that somebody snuck into his bedroom and replaced his throat with high-grade second-hand emery paper), sounds an awful lot like the guy from quite-good-but-still-very-sub-Coral skiffle-core also-rans The Basement. Heck, for all I know it could actually be the same guy. But, try as I might, the slow-burning velocity of these songs seems somehow hampered, distracted by the singer’s one-man anti-smoking campaign of a vocal.
Anyway, croaky conundrums aside, both songs mark QTS as a twisted, cerebral trio worth looking out for, the curiosity of the songs bolstered by how their lyrics are apparently inspired by the Surrealist ‘automatic writing’ process. In ‘The Unwelcome Guest’, though, it’s the churning, pulsating atmospherics that steal the show, the stabs of synth and brooding dance-ability coming on like Suicide trying to break into Studio 54. ‘Speed’ fares less well, admittedly, yet is still infectious in its repetition, at one point the refrain “so many dreams, many dreams” whirling over and over as the ‘Rat Trap’-style bass line loops itself into oblivion. For those who know what I’m talking about, think Ikara Colt’s ‘City Of Glass’ if it aspired to being on one of those Best Driving Albums In The World... Ever!
For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, think trawling the streets at night, staring unblinking through weary, hollow eyes. And ears, I guess.
Another interesting debut comes courtesy of this bizarrely named outfit. The vocalist has a bizarre style, for a start, like when you get something stuck at the back of your throat and your voice goes adenoidal, perhaps - and he half sounds like he's about to start screaming "Red Rum! Red Rum!" in lieu of a chorus. The peculiarity sits over furtive new wave bass and electronic fizzes throughout 'The Unwelcome Guest', with a tremendous chorus that sounds like it's being kept in a blanket box with the band sat on top. 'Speed', the other a-side, is more upbeat and unnerving, driven by a relentlessly repeated bass lick.
I won't even try to understand the name of this band - I can't even pronounce it to be honest - but it's my job to at least attempt to underatnd their music...Well, I can't.
From the start, 'The Unwelcome Guest' is saturated in wierd samples and synth sounds, with the result being that it sounds like the band have recorded this live in some kind of metal factory while production's still going on. And while I appreciate that effects on vocals often give you something that you can't naturally get, the flat notes cannot be intentional. As an instrumental track, I would draw comparisons to the eerie atmosphere and discomforting noise of Joy Division songs, but the vocals shatter this similarity - it sounds like Joe Pasquale slowed down, or Keith Chegwin's voice through a haze of LSD.
While 'Speed' dispenses with the factory samples, the over-produced drums and seemingly endless loop of a bassline are still there - as are vocals that would scar small children for life. I try to visualise this singer, and all i get are black and whites images from the 1968 version of Night Of The Living Dead. Explain THAT to me.
Loathe as I am to sound like a bimbo, I just don't get it. I don't understand what this band are trying to do, or how, or why, or what they expect to get from it if they succeed. Philosopher A.J. Eyre claimed that a statement is meaningless if you can't imagine how you would find out if that statement is true or false. With that in mind, I won't say that this band could be great or popular, or even that one day I might understand them. It's too confusing.
I like the deconstructed opening. Chop chop choppy guitar and stabs of noise over a repetitive bass figure. A synth hovers overhead then a chewed-up voice enters to intone confusing doggerel over the ever-more-fascinating-as-it-repeats backing.
The other A side (this being a AA side, pop pickers) owes a debt of thanks to Joy Division’s Isolation. Gripping in the way that cyclically repetitive music can be (think of Krautrockers Can) but by now the screwed down singing is wearing a little. This is high quality art-rock topped with a singer possessing all the vocal capabilities of Genesis P. Orridge (and, god bless him / her, the Throbbing Gristle front person isn’t gifted in that field).
One to watch – by the time they get to their first album Quad Throw Salchow will be a force to reckon with.
There's something a little intoxicating and hypnotic in the music of Quad Throw Salchow; something to do with insistent bass rumbles and nagging samples that get right under your skin.
New single THE UNWELCOME GUEST is a case in point with its throbbing bass line and haunting synth stabs; the androgynous vocals adding a surrealistic edge to proceedings, almost like Edith Piaf dueting with David Bowie. Its not what you'd exactly call catchy pop, but THE UNWELCOME GUEST is certainly an infectious and insistent sounding affair. Flipside SPEED imagines Joy Division jamming with Kraftwerk, a deep bass rumble underpinning all the weird electronica noise and unsettling vocal melodies.
A strange and unusual sounding outfit, Quad Throw Salchow approach pop from a more surreal angle than your usual perspective; creating an inspired and beguiling sound in the process. THE UNWELCOME GUEST is an intriguing snapshot of Quad Throw Salchow and one that leaves you hungry for more.
Curiously minimalist bass hook and an electronic backing throb all the way through this track and provide the basis for some other worldly vocals courtesy of O de Lanzac. Very bugged out and a little bit unsettling.
'Speed' is very similar and equally creepy. What strange minds are at work within Quad Throw Salchow?
Whisperin & Hollerin
Warning! Quad Throw Salchow’s ‘The Unwelcome Guest’ should not be listened to in the presence of young children. If you can imagine swapping your lungs for a diluted helium balloon then having someone stamp on your face, then you’re close to the vocal.
With its incessant programmed drum beat, simple bass and...those vocals, this is abstract and experimental to say the least. Drugs might help but so might padded walls. Listener beware, if you don't want your mind fucked with, leave well alone.
Quad Throw Salchow are what would have resulted if Lou Reed and Patti Smith had ever got high on absinthe, shagged, then handed the bastard lovechild over to the Surrealists to raise as their own, back in the 1920s and in some commune just outside of Paris.
Now grown up and with no memory of their birth parents, Quad Throw Salchow release debut single The Unwelcome Guest / Speed on September 25th on Try Science!. Inspired by the "automatic writing" process founded and favoured by the Surrealist movement, Quad Throw Salchow go for spontaneity, imprinting the raw feel as opposed to losing heart & soul to over-polishing.
Abstract, not fearing the void, Quad Throw Salchow choose to have few elements within their sound canvas with a strong emphasis on the colouring of each of them: sophisticated minimalism at its best.
QUAD THROW SALCHOW- Electonique pop noire…plenty of throbbing bass and slurred Germanic vocalizing with belle bleepings and stuff…all in all, pretty original. London based…keys, bass and vox is the lineup…Joy Div, Cabaret Voltaire, DAF, stuff like that from the post punk era…I dig it…'Speed' is particularly fine, a collision between Joy Div's Isolation and Marliene Dietrich on Crunchy Nut Cornflakes! Bloody good.