IMPRESSIVE THOUGH Not Squares’ 2010 debut Yeah OK was, eight of its 10 songs were completely overshadowed by epic raver ‘Release The Bees’ and the post-punk riff fest ‘Asylum’.
Both tracks also highlighted a problem at the core of the band’s sound - an indecision over whether they were electro or post-punk. It has taken five years for the follow-up, a dangerously long time for a band still establishing itself, but that time off has been well spent - BOLTS is the sound of Not Squares firmly in control of its identity and purpose.
The Belfast trio have opted to plunge fully into indie-electro, with strong overtones of Daft Punk and Kraftwerk. Meanwhile the post-punk elements are reimagined through an electronic lens or transferred into the bass lines, resulting in a more confident, cohesive, and assured sound.
Recent single ‘Oops Said Hi’, the third section in the opening suite of music, benefits from an inspired pop chorus and some tasty funk-disco bass work towards the end; ‘Fall Far’ is almost as good, and already a live favourite; but ‘Hey You’ is the show stealer with its call and response vocals, relentless rhythm, and thrilling, varying electro noisesthat fizz, burst, and flash like laser from a Star Wars stormtrooper blaster. BOLTS is a serious step forward for the Ulstermen.
Not Squares launch BOLTS at Strange Brew in the Róisín Dubh on Thursday April 9 at 9pm. Admission is €10/5. See www.roisindubh.net