Tag Archives: Tomorrow Syndicate

Tomorrow Syndicate – ‘Into the Void/X for the Unknown’ [Polytechnic Youth]

In an opening that feels both old and fresh simultaneously, the warm-hearted and optimistically charged ‘Into the Void’ exudes a harkening back to The Jesus and Mary Chain.

While it bends hypnotically from a more positive hue across to a pentatonic swell driven by a synth strings motif, it has an age to it, a kind of nostalgia as if the song came from a different era but made with modern hands.

The real charm of this record comes from its ability to give a sense of autosuggestion while staying incredibly simple.

Small nuances in the simplistic drum pattern and the unpretentious guitar pattern allow for something special to come forward, to let the synths and vocals provide the necessary textures in this tapestry, all leading to a special to the middle eight which shifts the tone dramatically, while all resolving back into a satisfying coda that brings the listener full circle.

A fine example of less-is-more in a time of over production and hyper-compressed musical content, this is a breath of fresh air that has a sensitivity that suggests great things are to come from whatever void Tomorrow Syndicate have escaped from.

It’s been a while since I’ve heard a spoken word sample sit so well in the opening of a track without reliance on the cheap trick of overladen delays or other effects, but it’s there on b-side ‘X for the Unknown’, there is a real confidence in this which carried forward into the rest of the track.

This band have a real kraut-rock flavour to them which permeates ‘X for the Unknown’, resting on a bed of an almost inaudible but very much present bassline, this condensed and claustrophobic track from Tomorrow Syndicate grinds into life via a tastefully used speech sample, punctuated with a grime that only a resonant synth can bring.

Although initially jarring in its first appearance, its harsh tone is soon superseded by a guitar shred that is compressed in rhythm by the kick drum to add to the psychedelic drive that’ll take the listener along for the rest of the journey.

The importance of each element of ‘X for the Unknown’ is perfectly balanced, with no vying for the limelight from any part.

Guitars push and pull from yell to whisper, while the synths and vocals provide melodic roots for everything else to hang from.

This is a late-night mission anthem for those occasions where audio support is a must when you’re hellbent on taking on the world.

Words: Krist McKenna (Ratworks)

Freakender Day 3, 17/9/17

Have you ever been to a festival and seen every act on the bill? Have you ever been to a festival, seen every act on the bill and never been bored or disappointed by anyone you’ve seen? I have now, and the glorious occasion that is Freakender closes with a nice chilled affair in the Old Hairdressers’ upstairs venue tonight and it’s a purely beautiful occasion.

The hangover isn’t as painful as I would have expected going into the third and final day, still I feel pretty sleep deprived so that may need to be shook off or embraced to enjoy the beautiful line up on offer on a relaxed Sunday evening

Cian Nugent on his second of three times on stage this weekend, delivers something not only completely different from his other bands, but something completely different from the whole bill, as gentle intricate finger picked guitar lulls you into a dreamy trance before his soft slurry Irish vocal gives you a cushion to lay your head too.

It’s the sort of music to sit down to and have it drift over you and perfect for a hungover Sunday, we’re being eased in nicely.

If Cian Nugent’s set is to sooth you in Kelora’s is to give you the shivers; haunting vocal harmonies give an eerie suspenseful background a terrifying beauty.

Decked in matching pyjamas they’re an emotionally draining prospect, washed with a dissident bath of eerie charms; it’s melancholic, dark and gorgeous in presence leaving you sweating it out utterly mesmerised.

Tomorrow Syndicate have been a bit of an enigma, but now finally reveal themselves for their first live set, and a set running with triumphant psychedelic kraut dipped indie pop.

They maintain that Sunday feeling with a warm but head nodding offering that gets the first movements of the night, while stunning VHS projections give a context to their space age, yet timeless sound.

Take away the kraut inflected keys and strip their sound to the core and you might just have a perfect indie pop band, but those keys and a few other flourishes give an otherworldly feel to their sound that weaves in calmly and then slowly takes over.

The Bellybuttons keep up the nice ride with gentle rolling riffs, endearingly warm vocals and a reverby bounce that gets you moving without ever sending you crazy.

Yeah their sound my be indebted to 90s lo-fi alt rock of the likes of Pavement, but they bring a fresh impotence, a new wry satirical drawl to that sound that have made them one of the most impressive bands in Glasgow for years.

Jack Cooper and co. seamlessly slips from sound checking into their set as wonderfully constructed instrumentals takes over, casting the audience to dreamier locations.

The set continues in this fashion with lovingly delivered accented vocals that shed a light on the Ultimate Painting man’s debut solo album’s homely feel.

There’s a strange classic feel that lends the band’s sound a timeless quality, but also a very hometown vibe, all the tracks are about Cooper’s hometown of Blackpool, giving piece a real intimate beauty.

The set may end a bit indulgently, but it is a hugely rewarding experience, as has this whole weekend been, make sure to check out anything the Freakender guys are promoting it’s bound to be brilliant.

Words: Iain Dawson
Photos: Neelam Khan Vela