Pulby ‎– Soundfreeze EP

Dead Digital ‎– DD03



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May 13, 2012
Perhaps it's the track titles, maybe the intriguingly atmospheric sound of the synth, but the group who immediately jumped to mind was LAIKA. While PULBY have a male vocalist who seems to stand stalwart amidst the too-advanced-for-mainstream atmospherics, there's nevertheless an other-worldly quality to this music.

And yet the four-square structure of these songs is otherwise fairly Indie Pop. They seem to possess that elusive 'Ingredient X' which sets them apart the way WIRE stood apart from the rest of the Post-Punk herd. And indeed WIRE managed to create bog standard song structures while injecting them with enough character and originality to set them far apart.

"Seven Days In Space" enveils itself in sweeping drapes of keyboard while the inner core of bass and drums hold course like some device from back in the Industrial Revolution - uncomplicated pumping rhythm at a pace which is fast enough not to be soporific, yet remains unhurried.

"Highlights" enwraps a skeletal rhythm in a warm crystaline tunnel of keyboard and electronic atmosphere, a medium-paced piece which manages to be passive and gentle while retaining an 'edge'.

"Big White" is a neat piece of Ambient Dance music - not in the Techno sense, but rather it's a gentle but compulsive groove through soft weaves of electronics.

"The End Of The Soundfreeze" is more an atmospheric dreamstate ghost-waltz, and despite it's cosy enclosed ambience, it does have a Wintery elegance to it.

I wrote that I would like to hear more by this group after hearing them on the "dd 01 2002" ep - as much to clarify things for myself as to hear what else they had to offer. This ep leaves me none the wiser - there's a roughness around the edges which suggests a run of the mill 'Local' group, and yet there's so much more here. Certainly they have the wisdom to be using the studio as another instrument - this ep has a fine balance between an almost clinical sterility of atmosphere, and a slightly dirty serrated edge. I wouldn't call them Experimental (although they make some fascinating sounds between the 4:4 ribs of guitar, bass and drums), neither are they pitching at the dizzy heights of Commercial Success. Instead they seem to stand alone in no mans land. And although a wide following may not be so off-the-peg easy to pick up, they have the stance of Heroes and Explorers - bold Enterprising individuals willing to risk all to terraform their own particular world. Wide success may be a while away, but PULBY are without doubt worth keeping a shrewd eye on.

Originally reviewed for Metamorphic Journeyman.