Co-ordinating outfits made an impression, few actual songs did: rewind a couple of months from today’s review date and This Et Al are plying second fiddle to the rejuvenated Pretty Girls Make Graves at London’s 100 Club. I’m not the only alleged critic in the room who’s unable to come to any conclusive opinion on the Leeds quartet’s wares: it sounds okay, but since when did that warrant any kind of mention on these pages of considered appraisal?
_‘Sabbatical’, though, more than makes up for that day’s failure to make any impact beyond the purely aesthetic: all shimmers builds and destructive falls, glossy yet you’ll never find your reflection in its depths, the song’s a perfect blend of light pop and dark rock. It’s somewhere between The Smiths’ self-gratifying desolation and the hyper-magic might of Muse; it’s the strongest, most pleasurable de-caf you’ll ever lap, if such an analogy is acknowledgeable in these circumstances.
B-side ‘The Loveliest Alarm’ (remixed by Yes Boss) serves as evidence that This Et Al are looking to branch beyond purely pop/rock pigeonholes, its glitch-beats and cricket-clicks, gradually buried under layered guitars, comprising a rough sketch of the 65days sound of a few years ago. Where they’ve led, This Et Al sound likely to follow, albeit with a little help from their own et als.
Good, then, and without a single pair of matching ties in sight.
7Mike Diver's Score