Can guitar music still be progressive in 2013? Five years ago, Oxford’s Youthmovies pushed the six-string envelope with their long anticipated and sprawling debut ‘Good Nature’ fusing vintage King Crimson prog with spidery math guitars and a modern post-hardcore edge. Since they disbanded, frontman Andrew Mears has been nurturing his Pet Moon project into quite a fascinating and altogether different beast. With their debut EP out early this year, ‘Superposition’ and ‘Hold the Divide’ are the first tasters of what to expect, bar a couple of very early demos. Having founded the Blessing Force musical collective during the writing process, as well as being in a very early incarnation of Foals, you can hear echoes of their fellow Oxfordians’ alt-pop outlook and sunnier disposition in the boy/girl harmonies.
Meanwhile, strident programmed beats and ambient synths form the framework of their sound, with the intertwining rhythms and chillwave pads fitting their self-proclaimed tag of ‘Progressive R’n’B’ perfectly. Yet where the progression truly lies is the juxtaposition of Mears’ immediately recognisable fretwork and richly yearning vocal, distilling his previous outfits vision into a far more sleek and engaging form. If you ever wanted to hear Patrick Wolf expand on his experimental electro side or for Björk to record an album as incendiary as her live performances, then this organic mesh of man and machine might be for you.
Words by Matt Marlow
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