Sympathetic Stupid

Thursday, November 16, 2006

They Have Not Forsaken Us - Art of Fighting Return

So it's that time again; the now-standard three-year wait is almost over and that means we're about to get a new Art of Fighting album.

When they go away I always forget how much I love these guys. It happened between Wires and Second Storey, until the Along the Run single hit me between the eyes. And the same with the new Eastbound single. Only now do I realise that I badly need their blend of beautifully recorded shoe-gazey guitar pop.

[mp3 - ysi - 6MB] Art of Fighting - Eastbound

Though they're not as noodly as previously. This song has an understated but unmistakable purpose about it, mainly thanks to the sixteenth feel drums of (the almost unspeakably magnificent) Marty Brown, who fills the bottom end with exquisite touch, never resting in one particular groove for too long. This frees Peggy to dance her bass lines around and through Ollie and Miles's guitars. And, of course, the production is spot on - if this is what takes them three years between releases, more power to them.

Strangely, the song I'm most reminded of is The Go-Betweens' Five Words, probably because Five Words has a similar restless percussion underlying the song, constantly feeling as if it's built to the edge of a precipice, but continually managing to climb higher, finding brief respite but still with more to come, and more.

The single comes with an album track more in the vein of old stuff, Night on Night, and a pretty good live cover of All Night Long by Lionel Richie. So get that from Polyester or your other local independent record store.

So everyone should see AoF at the Corner on Saturday night (yep Nick, I'm talkin' to you) - that's the 18th of November for those of you a touch date-challenged. Go here and buy tickets right now.

Here's some great old stuff (hey, it's all great, but I had to choose something):

[mp3 - ysi - 7MB] Art of Fighting - Break for Me (from Second Storey)
[mp3 - ysi - 8MB] Art of Fighting - Just Say I'm Right (from Wires)

You can stream the single and other tracks on their myspace as well. Buy the single online from Red Eye Records. Buy albums from Trifekta. Buy EPs from Half a Cow.