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Music Review

Book Cover

Up Beat Love


Artist: Threatmantics
Double Six
RRP: £9.99
5 034202 301226
Available 03 November 2008

The Threatmantics, Heddwyn Davies Ceri Mitchell and Huw Alun Davies are a three piece Cardiff band, consisting of drums, keyboard, guitar and viola, who are not adverse to the use of unusual instruments. Their debut album is Upbeat Love - a less apt name for an album I could hardly think off, as here is another set of young men who prefer to look on the cynical side of love.

The album opens with 'Big Man' and from its first notes is very reminiscent of Joy Division, given their apparent outlook they have certainly taken up Ian Curtis’s baton. The track is noisy, raucous but not the best introduction to the band. Oddly enough the band have chosen this track as the album's single rather than the more user friendly 'Buried Alive'.

'Buried Alive' is an altogether different fish, the combination of guitar and drum work together to create an almost laid back jaunty feeling to the track, with a little bit of Velvet Underground screeching viola thrown in to keep you off balance.

'Don’t Care' starts with a little brooding bass before breaking into a bit of Cajun fiddle. It continues the upbeat feel of the previous track, though with the Threatmantics you’re always waiting for the sting in the tail. Being proud of their country, the song is sung in both Welsh and English.

'Get Out of Town', another raucous crowd pleaser is probably the least accomplished song on the album, if only because of the musical repetition, still I can see this going down a storm at a concert.

'High Waister' and the band have gone all early Pink Floyd. A slow started that builds in intensity, before dropping back into a dreamy outtro.

'James Lemain' and we’re back to good old stomping drums, in a more straightforward crowd pleaser, which shows the bands post punk credentials.

'Little Bird' and another apparently up beat jolly number which lulls you into a false sense of security, with its dark lyrics and grinding guitar rift.

'Lonely Heart' starts like a ballad but, remember who you are listening to, this is not your usual love song.

As a debut album the Threatmantics have produced some very strong material from their twisted fusion of folk and punk. Lyrically perverse, they cast a wry look over the battlefield of love and conclude that all is not well.


Charles Packer

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