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ARTIST
TITLE
Einstein's Getaway
FORMAT
CD

LABEL
CATALOG #
WHITEBOX 002CD WHITEBOX 002CD
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
5/12/2009

This is the debut full-length release by Manchester's Stranger Son Of WB. Featuring main member Gareth Smith, who physically dismantled his previous band TVH3, to date, Stranger Son Of WB has been through about ten different line-ups -- the shifting sound held together by the underlying style of Gareth's punchy writing and snarling vocal delivery. Following on from a couple of highly-acclaimed singles on the Kum Ba Yah and Marquis Cha Cha labels, as well as a Marc Riley BBC session, Smith locked himself away in his Chorlton flat and battered out the scratchy, 4-track demos of the songs that would eventually become Einstein's Getaway. With an emphasis on nailing a "vibe" over tidiness, the results speak for themselves. Take the album's opening title track, for example, with its spazzy, Mondays-esque "it's grim up North" funk groove, Gareth's dysfunctional vocal separating it from any obvious Madchester dubiousness. Then comes the lean disco-not-disco vibes of "Engine" -- a pummeling, alt-rock floor-filler. Just when you think you've understood them, they drop "Crawl" -- a visceral monster of a track, brutal and gigantic, recalling the terrifying vibes of The Birthday Party's "The Friend Catcher." Elsewhere, "Mog's Pill" carries a rather disturbing narrative about a man who thinks he can see the color of his bones. Einstein's Getaway is the sound of Manchester now -- sure, there are comparisons to The Fall, ESG, etc., but this is not some limp pastiche of the Northwest's previous musical glories, polished-up to appeal to the masses. A ridiculously tight rhythm section shores up scrawling guitar and Smith's howling/shouted vocal stylings, and one cannot help but jerk along. This is a raw burst of primal energy, with songs that are as catchy as hell.