album has been released for about 6 months now and I totally ignored it,
thinking Ikara Colt was just another one-time post-punk group quickly compared
to Gang of Four because some would-be rock critic said so. It is appropriate to
stress the fact that they are much more exciting than The Liars, Radio 4 or The
Colt has been categorized as art students playing punk-rock / rock’n’roll
with late 70’s references. I don’t know whether they made their album sleeve
on their own and whether you need to study art to make such a sleeve but the
artwork undeniably looks fine (there are tiny stickers of black and white
photographs which you can stick in tiny white squares with cinematic captions on
the sleeve.) Concerning the references, there are much more anchored in a
particular mid-80’s british musical scene embodied for instance by The Fall
and its agitator leader.
sound is sort of lo-fi but they wanted it to be lo-fi. I mean let’s not kid
ourselves, Epitaph is not a Third World label, they could have had a neat
production if they wanted to. Anyway, the sound is nonetheless appealing. There
is a great sense of urgency throughout the album which is right away brought to
the fore: ‘One Note’ opens the album with the minimalist post-punk
experience of a one note song while “Rudd” is a desperate and fierce teenage
noisy punk complaint with guitar lines full of energy à la fugazi (Red
Medicine). Even though some tracks evoke Gang of Four, the tempos are often
quicker (“one note”, “bishop’s son”, “pop group”).
favourite songs from Chat & Business are those sounding like The Fall
in the mid 80’s (This Nation’s Saving Grace, The Frenz Experiment,
I am Kurious Orange). The astonishing “Belgravia” and the insanely
catchy “Sink Venice” (echoed by “Here We Go Again”) seem like relics of
The Fall Brix Smith era even though Ikara Colt’s dictions are less sharp and
incisive and even though their music is more approachable. This impression may
be due to Claire Ingram’s back voices added to Paul Resende’s intonations,
midway between singing and ranting. For example, “May b 1 Day” strongly
evokes one of Mark E Smith’s purple passage: “Big New Prinz”. “At the
Lodge” inclines towards 90’s The Fall (eg Middle-Class Revolt).
“City of Glass” might be reminiscent of PIL to some listeners, less dismal
This” is an awkward but successful attempt to set a pink flag inbetween The
Fall’s rants, Fugazi’s sharp guitar lines & Sonic Youth’s guitar
build-up by gradations.
it often happens when the band is signed to a capitalist label, the latter –
namely Epitaph (unfortunately for old Bad Religion fans)- decides to release the
album again enhanced by a second cd that contains here 4 songs (Basic
instructions ep – which is by the way totally superfluous). I really
disapprove of these commercial marketing methods that consider the listener just
as a consumer. WE DON’T CONSUME MUSIC, WE LISTEN TO IT as Blacklisted Igor
puts it with a nasty grin (hey, let’s make a button with this slogan). Anyway,
this time it enabled me to discover a good band. Sometimes we miss a group and
discover them 5 or 10 years later. This would have been a pity. Assuredly.
Considering their kind of music, we may all the more fairly hope that Ikara Colt
is worth seeing live.
/dec 15th 2002/