It's probably unwise for a music reviewer to underline his inarticulacy, but for all those days when it's a struggle to express clearly why a certain band rocks/sucks, Plantagenet 3 at least lay out their constituent parts with total transparency. On Modern Myths And Fairy Tales, the London instrumentalists debut, stark guitar ranges discretely from Slint's post rock aridity to slow, cinematic Morriconeisms to still surf riffing, while bass throbs tangentially and a drum machine skitters with the crisp quietness of Young Marble Giants. It's a mini-album that hangs glowering in the air, calm and heavy with an almost sociopathic blankness. And mostly, it's pretty good.

A couple of short pieces for string quartet break up the album nicely, but the heart of Modern Myths lies in guitarist Richard Lanyon's clean, delineated chops. He plays like he's painting rooms vivid shades of grey, his playing passionless but strangely beautiful. On 'Race To The Moon' it sounds like surf rock with the summer removed; on 'Theme From An Imaginary Western' it moves from murky Leone noodling to bold, Hood-style rings, before hitting final dying screeches. There's little of the usual post-rock quiet/loud/bloody loud dynamics here - things meander or hover, making abstract clouds of creepiness. Although 'Nocturne' (bass tiptoes through a haunted house, guitar scuttles about, a constant threat of violence) is the spookiest song here, thanks to the ghostly drum machine and serial killer guitar the unsettling tone is built in throughout the album. At the end, 'Goodnight, Checkpoint Charlie', a further lone cowboy Morricone riff expanded and bashed about, a solid full circle.

Plantagenet 3 turn rock music into a Gunther Von Hagens exhibition, like an experiment to eviscerate and pickle sound. But there's enough left in Modern Myths And Fairy Tales's still sketches to give good goosebumps.

Photobucket