Glare is the new EP released by North Atlantic Oscillation, an experimental rock band from the capital.
A blend of shoegaze rock and electronic music is showcased throughout this sleek and sometimes almost eerie collection of tracks that consist of one previously unreleased original, a couple of remixes and an interesting Leonard Cohen cover.
The EP is built on title track ‘Glare’, leftover from the production of NAO’s third album The Third Day, and it pulses with both futuristic energy and, in contrast, the more typical rock’n’roll flavours of past artists.
The word “epic” is vastly over-used, but throughout this song the big, sci-fi backdrops and anthem-like atmosphere hint at the fact that epic may just have been a feeling the band were looking to convey.
Porcupine Tree founding member Steven Wilson is the re-mixer of second track ‘Wires’, which continues with some more electronic splashes and the same image inducing instrumental parts.
The industrial, sci-fi atmosphere remains prominent and you can imagine it in a film where time travel is central to the plot and humans have discovered a way to see more colours.
Leonard Cohen cover ‘Sisters of Mercy’ pretty much makes for a fine example of what a cover song can be; nothing more, nothing less.
It twinkles with NAO’s electronics and waltzes along with Cohen’s original composition very recognisably in mind.
Closer ‘Penrose’ (alternative mix) ends the release rather well; it’s hypnotic, it’s shimmery and in the absence of vocals the chiming melody meanders up and down in a way that only adds to the dreaminess.
Glare is a strange, slightly trippy listening experience and there are parts that sound almost creepily like a nursery rhyme, but interest over-rides these feelings and I would say it’s absolutely worth giving a try.
Words: Greg Murray