Like Grunge, Shoegaze has become synonymous with one band. When mentioning the genre it is almost impossible to not reference My Bloody Valentine. All The Saints take much influence from them in their album Intro to Fractions. It is from the heavier side of MBV’s output that All The Saints are interested in, rather than the dream-like wooziness that the band conjured in conjunction with their grinding distortions. Intro to Fractions sits at the point where Grunge and Shoegaze meet and it is also interesting to note that this is a three-piece band, something not as common nowadays as it used to be.

‘Half Red, Half Way’ starts as they mean to go on, generating a ton of sound and introducing a ball-breaking riff. Singer and guitarist, Matt Lambert sounds like Jim Reid pitch shifted up a bit and with a ton of treble on his voice. There is a certain swagger and attitude in his vocal and it sits nicely alongside the torrents of drums and reverb, however as the album continues his vocal ability becomes a little suspect. ‘Half Red…’ is the most listener friendly track on display here and it is no surprise that it is the lead single. It is more hook-laden both on guitar and in melody than most, if not all of the other songs.

‘Polydaughters’, another one of the better tracks incorporates the nice touch of having a recurring gothic motif that opens and continues when the noise gets going. ‘Alteration’ is even more assaulting with some amazing drumming, but it does not have the same melodic invention it should have and falls down due to it. There are a couple of short incidental noise ‘pieces’ on the record which, while continuing the band’s aesthetic and ideals, sound/feel like you are being beaten up.

At times, the band uses the balancing act of quiet vs. loud sections that Nirvana were such experts at. On ‘Host’ it works very well, the song sounds like a slow lumbering monster being slowly taken down by the parasites inside it. The descending bass, sickly melody line and vocal delivery makes it a creepy listen and it wouldn’t sound too out of place on a Korn record. ‘EiO’ uses the same idea but with a much higher tempo. Here, the band attempts to plunge the guitars to lower and lower depths. It turns out feeling disjointed and messy but it is hard to not be surprised or enthused by the band’s ambition. The title track ‘Intro to Fractions 1’ sounds seedy and you can imagine it soundtracking a scene in a film where the protagonist goes into an underground porn shop. That’s not to say it isn’t a decent song, it just has that tone to it.

All The Saints know how to whip up a sound and they do so elegantly even if it sounds anything but elegant. The album is however a little too inconsistent; at times they nail it but others they can’t quite find the magic. With a little more melodic interest and a couple more killer tracks replacing the fodder, it could be brilliant. All in all, it is an enjoyable listen that won’t blow anyone’s mind, but will certainly melt a few faces.