Alarm Magazine "This Week's Best Albums: November 8th, 2011 - And So I Watch You From Afar "Gangs"

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And So I Watch You from Afar
Gangs (Sargent House / Richter Collective)

Stream: And So I Watch You from Afar: "Beautiful Universe Master Champion"

In March, the peerless Sargent House label gave American listeners a much-needed introduction to Adebisi Shank, an Irish instrumental trio that merges raging guitar harmonies with spasmodic electronics. Now Sargent House is at it again with Richter Collective, the DIY Irish label that counts Adebisi Shank's drummer Mick Roe as a co-founder, to provide American distribution for the sophomore release of And So I Watch You from Afar, a Belfast-based trio of mathy post-rockers from Northern Ireland.

Based on the other side of the Emerald Isle, And So I Watch You from Afar has a similar MO to Adebisi and sonic brethren such as Don Caballero, The Advantage, and Maps & Atlases. And like Don Cab, the band excels with a heavier rhythmic quality thanks to single-octave riffs, deep bass grooves, and mid-tempo breakdowns. At times, it seethes with a punk ferocity, but at others, it's content to charm listeners with clean-channel harmonies and wordless choruses (such as on the buoyant and glistening "7 Billion People All Alive at Once").

Over the course of its 44 minutes, Gangs delivers an unrelenting and celebratory riff fest. There's a dash of Fang Island here, a touch of Mogwai there, and a smidge of whatever math- or post-rock group fits any given passage. But when it's all said and done, ASIWYFA just sounds like itself — a band having a grand ol' time. - Text by Scott Morrow.

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