fulangchangandi – self-titled EP

Hailing from London, fulangchangandi (that’s pronounced “foo-lang-chang-and-eye”, and is the name of a Frida Kahlo painting) are one of those bands you wish came along more often… and at the same time find difficult to write about. Why? Well, because they’re inventive and thus resist lazy comparisons.

It’s fortunate – for me, fc&i, and anyone who’s reading this with a piqued curiosity – that over the last few years I’ve finally started getting shoegaze, post-rock and noise-rock. For some reason most of it never really clicked for me before, but there’s now been enough confluence of coincidence and recommendation that things have fallen into place for me. I’m still pretty fuzzy on a bunch of the big names – Slint, Shellac, MBV et al –  that fc&i name as influences, but on the strength of what they’ve done with this inspirational fodder I need to pick up my retroactive pace.

So, sonically the band play music that straddles shoegaze and post-rock territory. Their songs and riffs loop lethargically and dreamily, heavy on the distorted chords/clean picking juxtaposition, with prevalent bass lines and minimalist drums. Minimal is a good byword, actually – while the vocals are kept to a minimum here these guys aren’t chasing the textural build-up of post-rockers like This Will Destroy You or the rockier instrumental take of And So I Watch You From Afar. It’s impressionistic, almost, as each element of their songs emerges clearly but is integral to the greater whole. Excuse the slightly pretentious metaphor, readers…

The first track on the EP features jangly, dischordant guitar front-and-centre, with sporadic Enablers-esque spoken word vocals over the top. Lyrically these aren’t exactly on a par with the San Francisco cult favourites, but they’re a nice touch and work well. Next up is ‘Godolphin’, probably my favourite of the three, which is a sort of mournful victory march with great tremolo guitar picking and some soaring melodies that builds to a close awash with noise. Rounding out the trio comes the seven and a half-minute epic ‘Emergency’, a song of several parts, crescendoes and decrescendoes alike, slightly varying its central hooks throughout to great overall effect.

All in all this is a very cool first EP and I’m looking forward to seeing what fulangchangandi do next. Two of the three songs on this EP are up on their MySpace page, so go have a listen.

Comments are closed.