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The 4th Parallel

Ultra-Extra ()

By • Feb 1st, 2006 • Category: long players

The title track from these Glaswegians� debut promo is ready to catch you from the beginning, with a bassline that can only be described as delicious, wanting to break out into a funk experimentation, only to be reigned in by spacey synths and the swaggering tones of Michael McCahill. In fact one of the things I instantly loved about this song was that little Glasgow twang that McCahill�s left in there to remind you that electropop is indeed a human creation, and not totally reserved for posh boys from London suburbs. �Ultra-Extra� is like the weird but lovable love-child of Primal Scream and Depeche Mode. Imagine that�

Elsewhere, �Learn Our Lesson� is one of those songs destined to be labelled as atmospheric and I can easily attribute that to one thing: drums and piano parts that shriek �eighties!� at you. Not in the cheesy girl pop vein, you understand, rather Phil Collins perhaps? Plus synth. Obviously. Lyrically too, it�s anthemic � �I�m turning my back from the crowd�We gotta learn our lesson someday�But I just got to carry on�� you get it.

The blatant New Wave-ism of �Wheels� however, is the little shiny beacon on this compact disc. Translating like a Squeeze remix, it successfully traverses that twenty year gap that is all too often attempted badly these days. Think Girls Aloud and you�ll know what I�m talking about. But The 4th Parallel have it spot on with their accurate use of the FX toolbox on the vocals and guitars/percussion that take a backseat, allowing McCahill to man the foreground. His own vocals, too, are pleasantly relaxed so that while the song swims around your head, the lyrics pass right over it. No need to think to much, and that�s necessary every now and again.

Sam Pollock

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