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Le Thug appear to be only a few years down the line in their musical story, but already they have presented themselves as the darker, more ambient shade of the widely resurged dream pop genre. From an initial listen this isn't surprising. With their roots lying in Glasgow, Scotland, their music seems to provide a soundtrack for the northern city that hasn't been short of a grey day or two. Signed to Edinburgh's Song By Toad records, the group worked on their second split 12-inch back in 2012, as well as releasing the 4-track EP Ripping to positive response.

Valentine's Day sees them putting on a premier gig to promote the release of 2015's Place Is. A step in perhaps a brighter direction, the electronic shoegaze trio are still keeping true to their minimalist hypnotics, with Alexandra Maclellan's sun-drenched vocals dancing around bursts of sharp guitar and a slightly off kilter analogue drum beat. This is the kind of minimalist dream pop that relies on singularities to establish a mood, with Maclellan's vocal delivery not dissimilar from other female voices within the same genre. One cannot help but fall under the spell of these soft emotive gestures. US dream pop big names Victoria Legrand (Beach House) and Julia Holter have aided in paving the way for emotive and dreamy narratives to entrance their listeners in a heartbeat. Le Thug draw influence from the common dream pop narrative but throw a darker veil over the usual points of reference.

'Outer Hebridean' showcases an industrial side of shoegaze from the outset and is a great opener. Laptops and samplers have replaced any predictability delivered from the common bass or guitar lick, providing a semi-chaotic instrumental cloud for Maclellan's voice to walk upon. 'Pals' and 'Basketball Land' reveal two sides of the same coin. The former tells a story of revenge, accompanied by a clean two-step beat that characterises the initial roots of dream pop. 'Basketball Land' switches the trio's dynamic, paving way for woozy synths to expand the musical landscape. Gilfedder's Mogwai-esque guitar work drives the track forward, illuminating great potential for Le Thug to find their niche in such an overworked genre.

Whilst Place Is provides its listeners with an adequate spread of electronically charged noise, it can wear thin quite quickly. The only exception to this is 'FC', the more ambient sounding ender. Le Thug showcase an eclectic mix of shoegaze effects, drone rock and intriguing experimental electronics but sound as though they are still coming to terms with the musical playground in which they have found themselves. Place Is has ultimately given birth to some truly absorbing dream pop compositions and incites curiosity as to where Le Thug will travel next.

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