The indie-alternative outfit are pushing the boundaries of their sound.
Wow. It’s been a pretty long time since we last covered Auction For The Promise Club. In fact, it was shortly after this site started that we found ourselves addicted to Under China. In the time since, the band have developed their sound and, if new AA side single This May Hurt/Cut So Close is anything to go by, they’ve becoming a lot more aggressive since then.
It’s worth noting that the band can still deliver beautiful melodies. While the guitars tend to favour either dramatic tones (This May Hurt) or desert-rocked tinged crunchiness (Cut So Close), Zoe White-Chambers’ vocals are still as innocently melodic as they were when they drove my infatuation with their sound years ago. Even when White-Chambers is distorting her vocals to portray a harsher, meaner sound, the high register vocals maintain their purity. It’s a blessing and a curse, at times sounding a little at odds with the hard-hitting instrumentation. But mostly, the contrast works wonders – particularly on This May Hurt, where the use of backing vocal samples exemplifies the power of her vocals.
In some ways, This May Hurt is a bridge between a gentler vibe and the hard-hitting sound they’re gravitating towards. Cut So Close, on the other hand, fits almost flawlessly into the archetypal “this is rock” sound, feeling a little bit like it was inspired by The Black Keys. It’s a simple, mindless track that is entirely about creating a three-minute frenzy of flailing limbs that doesn’t need the lyrical complexity that the band usually bring to the table. Much of the track revolves around repetition – a rare example of a song that can get away with this without feeling mediocre or idiotic.
AFTPC feel more like they’re just pushing the boundaries of their sound into a variety of different directions to challenge perceptions and remain interesting, refusing the stagnation of one set sound. It definitely works.
The AA side single is available on vinyl from independent UK record stores on Saturday April 16, 2016 as a part of Record Store Day 2016. It is available as a 7″ red vinyl via Easy Action Records.