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All Structures Align
Distance and Departure Jared Dix , September 16th, 2022 09:19

A second release for the brother Ineson on Joe Thompson's Wrong Speed Records proves knottier and more mysterious than it first seems, for Jared Dix

Wrong Speed Records kicked up as something of a lockdown project for Joe Thompson (Hey Colossus) so that he could keep busy and get to own a vinyl copy of various musical projects his mates were doing. The prospects for, well, everything were bleak at the time so he kept it small scale, mostly worked with people he knew, and two short, weird, years later the label has an increasingly impressive string of releases to its name. One of the more mysterious was the debut from All Structures Align, a slow burn collection of elegant and contemplative guitar parts and low key vocals made by two brothers, Tim and Adam Ineson, who had taken twenty years away from music.

Their follow up Distance and Departure arrives less than six months later, suggesting an opening of creative floodgates, or a shed full of unfinished ideas, or maybe both, for all it matters. There’s no huge shifts in their sound but this time they’re joined by the redoubtable Neil Turpin (Bilge Pump, Objections) behind the drums, playing as a trio bringing a sharper focus, a more aggressive edge. The compositions still unfold at their own pace but are maybe a little wilder, a little more adventurous.

Fluid and intuitive, the tunes follow unseen paths. The guitar is completely central but there aren’t any solos. There aren’t even really any riffs, occasionally one will pop up for a little added drama but they don’t outstay their welcome in the overbearing manner of rock riffs. There’s a particular Englishness to it despite all the most obvious reference points being 90s American bands (if you were excited to catch June Of 44 over the summer, for example, you should definitely lend an ear).

Enigma might be the key to their considerable charm. Tim’s subtle vocals are reluctant to step into the spotlight, moving within the music rather than belting over the top. What he’s singing is hard to follow but feels weighted with meaning and if you listen he does more with his voice than first appears. On ‘We Gather’ repeated lines cycle through inflections and break down to a chant about hot air balloons “each filled with four people, each filled with four reasons”. By the end of the song, this odd image becomes intense and compelling. And you still don’t really know how you ended up there. The artwork and title both echo the previous record in a way that reflects the play of patterns in the music, a submerged order that you can sense rather then see. It’s unpredictable without ever feeling unstable.