SCANNERS Love Is Symmetry

Alternative / Pop / Indie band Scanners (formed 2005) are a London, UK based band consisting of Sarah (vocals/bass/violin), Mat (guitar/vocals/synth), Amina (guitar/keys) and Harry (drums) and Ben (Bass.)

The group was signed by label owner and DJ Steve Aoki to his indie label Dim Mak.

Their third longplayer, ‘Love Is Symmetry’  is out this week via Tigertrap Records.

We had a listen:

scanners  smallOpening track ‘Love Is Symmetry’  is a swirl of curls and clapping. Expressive and sombre vocals flicker above a glockenspiel sound and some fuzzing bass. The track builds up rapidly, branching out into silvery branches – with an organic Eastern resonance to it. This is a magnificent track, reminding us of vintage Jefferson Starship. It’s a journey you will want to take again-and-again.

Control’ is more bleepy and gloopy. A dancing pace and more hand-claps. The expressive ‘Fleetwood Mac’ style long vowel sounds, accompanied by jarring thump-along thuds of drum, move stridently ever onwards. On this track everything shines with a newborn gloss.

Mexico’ is far more folksy.  A hastily strummed acoustic guitar accompanies the geometrically opposing voice. The sound is jagged and edgy. But no less beautiful for that. Then ‘Charmed Life’ edges in, like a thief in search of prey. The smooth vocal “All you need is pleasure…” snakes in fast, and soon fastens around your heart. The voice is charming and crystalline. Like a beautiful Morrissey. Then the full drama of the song takes place. With a quick dash the chorus comes in – to stab at your heart and to capture it. And the song will blanket you within it’s shuddering tinfoil covers of loving power. This is a superb and magical track.

My Streets Are Always in the Shade’ will probably remind you of The Cure.  And ‘State of Wonder’ with its repeating high-note and carefully plucked strings is like a kindergarten lullaby. Lucid and sweet as angel dust.

A Smile on Both Your Faces’ is a sad song –  a tapestry of swaying sounds that fold and wave in textured layers. The vocals boldly build up to a trot – as if they are hastened to the grooved edge of the song.  Then ‘I Couldn’t Help Myself’ leers in like a cabaret act  in a seedy speakeasy. The “Nothing can pin you/me down…” lyric drills deep under your skin and the bass buzzes and flickers like a captured tiger moth.

Side Effects’ is a song of praise. The suggestion that “It is all in the next life…” is generated by a ghostly voice that sweeps and slides over a landscape of unstable sounds. But then the guitars burst in, and the voice assumes a new mantle – one dedicated to building a fortuitous outcome. The haunted ‘woo-woos’ continue, and gently glide against the cold keys … but the song eventually leads us down to earth with a sudden calamitous impact.

The album ends with ‘One Problem Always Changes To Another’ that has a Japanese sounding guitar and an authentic alt-rock beat.  The voice is clear and sharply folded, like an air plane origami. The keys are pure and simple. This song may be pleasant, but it is a bit of an anti-climax – especially since it sits as the altar-piece  to this scintillating album…  of great abundance and surprising purity.

– © Neil_Mach June 2013 –


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