New Sound of Numbers – Invisible Magnetic (Cloud)
New Sound of Numbers are resurrecting the ghosts of the Athens, Goergia post-punk scene that were largely buried in the public consciousness thanks to thousands of sensitive white boys with guitars who listened to Murmur a few times too many – pull out those Oh-OK and Method Actors records everyone! You can trace their influences from the raw, untamed female energy of the Slits and the scratchy kitchen sink post-punk experimentalism of the Raincoats, to the modern sound of Athens technicolor psychedelic soundscapes flavored by the weirder branches of the Elephant 6 family tree (from which they’ve borrowed a few band members). Multi-instrumentalist/ vocalist Hannah Jones is a student of the Mark E. Smith school of repetition repetition repetition chanting her lyrics over and over to form the rhythmic heart of the songs like ‘New Dance” and “Complete”, although I doubt the esteemed MES would tolerate so much trumpet, glockenspiel and clarinet in the mix. One minute they’re layering multiple female voices (including Vanessa Briscoe Hay of Pylon!) into the sort of striking, slightly off kilter harmonies that Grass Widow have updated from their post-punk godmothers and the next they’re knee deep in a straight out of Stereolab motorik beat filtered through the busy electronic psychedelia of 60’s combo the United States of America. There’s so much going on in these songs that they might not make too much of an impression if you’re preoccupied with boiling water so you can make some tea, or try to sneak a listen on the shop stereo between customers at your dead-end retail job (guilty as charged), or whatever the bewitching charms of New Sound of Numbers’ jagged wobble and kaleidoscopic sprawl demand your full attention, if you’re willing to give it.
– Erika Elizabeth