Parlour 9 Sessions

Parlour 9 Sessions: Vol. 1
The Sound of Lo-Fi Superior

The Sound of Lo-Fi Superior – a Dogme approach to recording if you will, taking it out of the studio and back to the wild, be that rehearsal rooms, attics or front rooms. These sessions have no frills or smooth techniques, and Parlour 9 claim in the strongest terms that they’re better for it.

Salvo are really, really angry, or they fake it well. They make a burly, effing n’ blinding noise and holler like first-generation Oi! foot soldiers. I personally find this sort of thing exhausting after a song or two unless I’m really angry myself, but they clearly do it very well, and should it be your bag, I recommend them.

Last time Empty Vessels reached these ears I was convinced that Matt Finucane should be made Education Minister. Hearing his groggy, attention-deficit nursery rhymes again, perhaps we should give him a daily thought-for-the-day slot too, for why should the vast mass of adults (who won’t traipse down the Hope and Anchor or hear this CD) be denied his monkey wisdom? Hearing ‘Monkey’, ‘Into the Well’ and ‘(It’s no) Guilty Pleasure’ at home, you’re deprived of the stage act and the sense that he might fondle you at any time, but the songs are still fine, and still as silly as pudding. The band on the other hand are less demonstrative, and their flawless Velvet-like groove – punchy when strictly necessary – completes a perfect marriage of opposites.

The Betes Noires, now the Cutaways, are more mysterious than Salvo and straighter than the Vessels. Their particular approach draws on the more melodic American hard cases like Replacements and Pixies, with Simon Kelly recalling both Ian Curtis and Kurt Cobain. Kelly does his influences proud, getting not just the style, but the troubled soul as well. Whatever they’re called (I prefer Betes Noires, as it just seems to go with the dark but lovely music) these are probably the most straightforward pleasure on the sampler. ‘My Political Friend’ is an uncut jewel that sparkles more with each listen.

Dolium are the closest to what you’d casually class as ‘lo-fi’ – scratchily mixed vocals and the most vivid sense of one-take recording. It works just fine, and why not? The Peel Sessions didn’t become a mark of quality for no reason. Dolium can go straight down the line or swing it a bit, and the swamp-horror riff of ‘Daddy’s Swinging in the Attic’ is scary enough before the chorus even starts.

Reece Adamo and Ms de Vine of Dolium created Parlour 9 and seem to have a winning formula. Hearing these sessions, it’s hard to imagine any of these bands any other way, and harder to see how studio foppery could improve them. In other words, this is a job well done, and an ethos worth pursuing.

Listen to Dolium – ‘Daddy’s Swinging in the Attic’.

Written by McLaughlin on

Stuart McLaughlin was a regular write for [the-mag] and was frequently seen in live music venues in search of great new music.
Stuart McLaughlin

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