Label: Fire Records Release date: 02/08/10 Link: Myspace Painted with the same brush as The Stone Roses, Pixies, Pavement and The Jesus and Mary Chain, the culty A.C. Acoustics roll out nostalgia tinged reverie that encapsulates the carefree attitude of the 90s (you know, before we all had to grow up, get jobs and become responsible). Full of heavy riffs, eerie vocals and beautiful, distorted guitars the re-release of their 2000 album,Understanding Music, sees a welcome return to the sounds that initially ignited our youthful musical passions. Perpetually trounced by musical thunder-stealers, A.C. Acoustics have always been in the wrong place at the wrong time and despite being championed by fellow performers and critics alike, the primitive art-rock group have always evaded the success that many feel they deserved. There is no denying that ,Understanding Musicis as intuitive as it is compelling. Intertwined with electric intermissions, cutting guitars and vocals, as wispy as smoke being drawn into lungs, ‘Crush’ creates an edgy sea of sonorous harmony. ‘She Kills for Kicks’ is evocative of Aphex Twin; honest noise cemented with refined keys, pulsating drums, screeching guitars and an array of important subtleties. The melodious cohesion continues in ‘Like Ribbons’ which fuzzes with prominent riffs, howling guitars and cryptic, enigmatic lyrics. The album suitably climaxes with ‘Water Stains’ an eight minute outburst of ebbing, up-surging crescendos laced with gentle force and clever, hopeful intricacies. Ultimately, there is a reason why A.C. Acoustics were always the bridesmaid, so to speak. There is nothing particularly groundbreaking or catchy about their music, it’s all just rather pleasant and relatively enjoyable and, at the time, there were a lot of bands doing similar things: Seafood and Llama Farmers spring to mind. Couple this with the exciting things going on with the US alt-rock/grunge scene in the 90s and everyone just happened to be listing to Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins or something else entirely (as it seems). That said, in an age where nothing too current seems entirely relevant, childhood throwbacks fill a certain void and ,Understanding Music may just plug that gap nicely. If you’re looking for a reminder of the days when kids wore baggy clothes, DMs, had floppy hair and listened to ‘rad’ music, then you’re in for a treat. This record certainly evokes memories of a bygone age, where song writing was an art and musicians could actually play their instruments, and this should be a welcome, if belated, addition to your music collection. Photobucket