, November 17th, 2009 11:06
Since their inception some five years ago, Githead have methodically transformed themselves from a somewhat shambolic proposition into an entity that garners the kind of slavish acclaim and devoted following that lesser talents spend their entire careers fruitlessly chasing. Not that there's any mystery attached to all this: Githead are a band that improves with each subsequent recording and Landing is an album that not only continues this upward trajectory but acts as a pinnacle to what's gone on before.
For the uninitiated, Githead is made up of Wire's Colin Newman, drummer Max Franken and bassist Malka Spigel (of Israel's Minimal Compact) and Robin Rimbaud aka Scanner. While the temptation to sigh at yet another side project/supergroup is tempting, to do so without listening is to do the band and the listener a disservice.
Indeed, Githead have strived to develop a sound that is their own and while the shadow of Wire looms large over the proceedings - how could it not with Newman on guitar and vocal duties? - the identity forged here is that of a band at play and the interaction between the principle players. So it is that the minimalist guitar interplay between Newman and Rimbaud is offset by an infectious melodic delivery, all the while underpinned by Spigel's low-end propulsions and Frankens' straight ahead rhythms.
As evidenced by the glacial metronomic drive of 'Take Off' or 'Lightswimmer''s epic sweep, Githead are providing a greater degree of shading, depth and nuance than ever before. Crucially, none of this is delivered at the expense of the pop sensibility that beats at the very core of Githead; tunes and melody stroll gleefully hand-in-hand with a sense of sonic experimentation that refuses to compromise or negotiate.
It's this side of Githead - the possibility of ideas co-existing without having to engage in a weakening trading off - that's marks them down as such a wonderfully unique concept. This may well be a well-worn path that many have attempted to traverse, but few have navigated it with the innate sense of direction of Githead.