ARTIST: Meter Bridge
RELEASE: Slow Motion
RELEASE DATE: 10/04/16
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
I don’t normally cover dark synth-pop here at Primal Music and considering my musical background is in electronic genre you’d think that we would, but I purposefully started this blog to support a genre of music that I trudged through relentlessly in my teenage years and a scene which set me on a meandering course of vinyl collecting, gig going and general mayhem throughout the mid/late 80’s & early 90’s. Back then for me the electronic scene was something of an underground myth and didn’t really encroach on my musical life until the beginnings of the Manchester rave scene in the late 80’s and subsequently the release of ‘Leftfields’ stunning debut ‘Leftism’ in the early 90’s. So to some it may seem strange that I haven’t carried that electronic bug with me through my own band, the distinctly electronic Analogue Wave, and incorporated it into the very fibre of Primal Music. To me however, I simply had to set boundaries and focus on a inherent fascination that I have with all things reverberating and shoegaze related. That said, every once in a while a band jumps out of the swirling electronic ether and stirs the senses enough to warrant some respect. One such band continues to fascinate me as they write, record, produce and self-release musical soundscapes so brilliant I’m amazed they haven’t been picked up by a major label thus far and catapulted into the big time. Im pretty sure its on the cards at some stage and as I’ve said many times before – “They Are On The Cusp Of Greatness”.
‘Meter Bridge’ are a Canadian based electronic duo consisting of Jill Beaulieu – vocals/synth & Richard Kleef – vocals/drum programming/synth & guitar. Collectively they create a blissful mix of pulsing synth-pop coupled with blissful dream-pop inspired vocal arrangements and a streaming dark atmospheric undercurrent thats firmly fixed within an 80’s industrial & swirling old school post-punk maelstrom. Their latest twelve track opus is entitled ‘Slow Motion’ was released back in April 2016 and its available to buy/download right now from: meterbridge.bandcamp.com/album/slow-motion
The opening salvos of ‘Slow Motion’ sparkle on a cascading synth line as ‘Filter’ enters earshot on a foundation of pin prick percussive hits. Its not long before we’re introduced to the stunning vocal abilities of Jill Beaulieu and we’ve jumped off into the sonic ether and plunged straight into a world of synth-pop bliss. ‘Responding With a Kiss’ is steeped in atmosphere as dark synth swathes wash over this listener. Duel vocals lines swirl and I have to make a footnote here and say that Richard Kleef’s vocals are brilliantly reminiscent at times to Bowies on ‘Backstar’ as the production takes over and those deep bass frequencies hug those four/four timed sequenced kick patterns. Track three, ‘Bliss’ is distinctly 80’s sounding and brilliantly executed whilst ‘Frozen’ is modern and fresh and deserves to be released as a single if you ask me! Up next, ‘Meant To Be’ shuffles into earshot on a slow addictive drum beat and yet again a brilliant injection of dark atmosphere floats into the ether on those oppressive bass frequencies. ‘Meant To Be’ lifts through its chorus progressions on a cascading synth line as the duel vocal circumnavigates the entire track on waves of reverberation.
There’s an subtle eastern feel to track seven, ‘Distance Between Us’ and thats due to the brilliant piano and synth progressions but its not long before those impressive vocals courtesy of Jill Beaulieu take charge and drag this track to its finality. ‘Quicksilver’ is packed full of sic-fi chic whilst the brilliant ‘Kite’ is simply mesmerising. Up next ‘It Was Nothing’ oozes with confidence as its melodic synth swells, infectious percussion & that immense duel vocal attack swirl within the sonic ether. There’s a brilliantly addictive groove etched into track ten ‘Distinctly Yours’ that caught this listeners ear from the off as both Jill & Richard’s vocal lines loop and arc within the intricate sequenced synth progressions and the minimalist percussive hits. Major props also need to go to the production on ‘Distinctly Yours’ as its no easy feat to separate those synth lines without losing sonic density. Slow Motion’s penultimate piece entitled ‘Always Looking For You’ shuffles on a progressive beat as bleeps and swirls of synth and instrumental hits appear and vie for your attention as the duel vocal works through it’s sonic gears.
The albums closing track, ‘Coming Up For Air’ is utterly addictive as it sways on a rhythmic drum pattern, brilliant guitar stabs and another stunning vocal performance. A fitting finale to an album that the band say “Is our conclusion to the EP ‘Meter Bridge’ – 11 new tracks plus Kite“.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Del Chaney has spent the last four years not only fronting popular Irish Electronic duo Analogue Wave but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the Unsigned or Small Independent Label based Shoegaze, DreamPop, PostPunk, PostRock & PsychRock genre’s of music from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog – The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion. His other arm – Primal Radio – has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has hepled him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.