Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

"Scanners-Violence is Golden"

August 1, 2006

scanners1Band:Scanners
Album Name:Violence is Golden
Best Element: Variation / Atmosphere
Genre: Alternative / Indie Rock
Website: www.scannersmusic.com
Label: [http://www.dimmak.com]Dim Mak Record
Band E-mail: info@scannersmusic.com

From across the ocean comes London’s Scanners with their album Violence Is Golden a powerful alternative rock four-piece with a nice contrast of new wave pop and indie punk influences.

There is no doubt “Low Life” is classic track and an easy selection as the album’s lead single. Pretty much everything about this track is perfect, as Sarah Daly’s voice is captivating over the subtle guitar, bass, and drum work. All of this is enhanced with some nicely orchestrated keyboards which add significantly more depth to the song. This song boasts an extremely powerful chorus that would seem repetitive if it wasn’t so damn catchy. Sarah not only lends her voice to the band but also multitasks and handles the bass work. Her rhythm partner, Tom Hutt, is generally a well-oiled drum machine but can also add some eclectic styles if the song calls for it. Then there is the gifted fret work of Matt Mole on the guitar, who also lends his voice as back up to Sarah’s. Last, and most certainly not least, is Amina Bates, who handles all the wonderful keyboard and sampling work which shines throughout the album and really adds another dimension to the music as a whole. She also handles the second guitar. So, as you can see, they are clearly skillful and well varied musicians.

Scanners is not just a one trick pony, as there are a few other real hits on the album. “Changing Times” is a emotive powerhouse layered with new wave dissonance. Standing as the album’s longest song at 5:09, this song adds some great progressive elements to make you wish the track was even longer. This song succeeds where some of the album’s other tracks fell short and, at times, were too repetitive. For example the tranquil “In My Dreams” has the potential to be one of the album’s top tracks but falls into repetition and is either too long at a mere four minutes, or should be pushed deeper into the progressive scope. That said, “Look What You’ve Started” is one of the album’s finest numbers. Though familiar in structure, this song really has what “In My Dreams” lacks- and with a more focused delivery it is able to hold the listener’s full attention for the duration of the track.

Another factor which I am quite fond of is their gift for variation. Aside from the songs mentioned above, Scanners also incorporate such influences as punk (“Bombs” and “Air 164”), British new wave (“Joy” and “Raw”), and experimental (“Evil Twin” and “High Flier”) to give this album some good variation. All their styles fuse together on the title track “Violence is Golden”, leading the album to a perfect climax. This is likely my favorite song on the album, and leaves me wanting to give this disc another spin to see what I may have missed.

Scanners may not have yet created their magnum opus; however, with the recently released Violence is Golden , they have solidified their claim as legitimate musicians and artists. At this point the future only holds only good things for this UK foursome.

-Josh Hogan
josh@orchidscurse.com

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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