"Between the Walls" // SUNDAY TIMES ALBUM OF THE WEEK
ABOUT GROUP is the core trio of JOHN COXON, ALEXIS TAYLOR (HOT CHIP) and PAT THOMAS, whose third album BETWEEN THE WALLS is released through Domino in 2013.
Between The Walls captures the sound of a band 'playing' together, in both senses of the word - experimenting and trying things, being playful, as much as being a group performing as a unit together. Between The Walls is the sound of people pushing towards and pulling against one another simultaneously. It is the sound of buzzing amplifiers, sudden musical non-sequiturs, loud blasts of straight synth lines cutting through melody and structure. And it is also the sound of beautiful and odd electronic textures and brilliantly defined and deliberate drums, underpinning fragile but deliberate performances of sad songs and country ballads.
John Coxon: "What Pat and myself get out of playing with Alexis is really good unpretentious songwriting which gives a context for the playing - something that can be missing from a lot of improvising situations. And it's rare to have someone who can write such structurally straightforward songs but is open to them being destabilised and pushed around.
"Also I love that for example in 'I Never Lock That Door' that Pat hears Dandy Livingston , and I hear Hank Williams or something. A group of four music obsessives with radically divergent experiences - Pat with Chuck Berry, Tony Oxley or Derek Bailey, me with Spiritualized, Spring Heel Jack or Evan Parker, Alexis with Hot Chip, his solo stuff and DJing in big places - it's a strange combination. And the songs do proceed - they're so explicit compared to instrumental music."
Alexis Taylor: "The balance between songwriting and free playing, and a lack of clarity about which mode we will be in for any given amount of time, is the key to About Group."