Civil Civic - Rules
After almost a year of hype and praise from the UK music press and a lot of hours racked up on the road, instrumental art-rockers Civil Civic release their much anticipated debut album "Rules". The band's set-up of guitarist Aaron Cupples and bassist Ben Green is backed up by the presence of their mechanical counterpart drummer simply known as 'The Box'. Upon the first listen, the luminous steel drum tones and the whispering samples that feature on opening track 'Airspray' indicate a mellow vibe which is quickly erased by the scuzzy yet driving bass lines. Think of a mash up between Eighties indie guitar work and a storm of controlled modern electronic chaos; and you are almost there in terms of what Civil Civic sounds like as a band.
Production wise, "Rules" is an album that is uncompromising and raw like a Steve Albini project. This is the kind of music that needs to be appreciated and played at full volume. The schizophrenic and jarring pace is unrivalled with the ability to drop into a full blown wall of sound from a series of low-fi post punk rhythms. This is exhibited constantly throughout the record and it doesn't lose any of its touch in the damn slightest, in fact, in places it is just borderline face-melting. Very few acts can compete with the sheer ferocity and downright grittiness that this album delivers at such highly intensive and intelligent level.
The fact that it is pure instrumental gives "Rules" a post-rock sensibility about it, whilst tapping into an almost sub-rave party feel, much akin to the likes of 65daysofstatic which makes up for the lack of vocals being present here.
With a sound that is truly unique to the greatest extent of the word, Civil Civic have produced an album that is pushes the boundaries of sound to its breaking point. Rules has such depth and dimension and does not allow any let up at all. A promising debut from a duo not frightened to stray away from convention whilst breaking the musical mould and a few ear drums along the way.