First of all, a confession: I never liked Aereogramme all that much when they were around. It wasn’t until they split that I listened to them more and discovered what I’d been missing out on. Bad timing on my part there. With that in mind, when I heard that former members Craig B. and Iain Cook were working on new material together, I was immediately interested. When the first fruits of their efforts – album opener Knut – appeared I was glad that expectations hadn’t been dashed. Knut was, is, a wonderful song that had me hungry for more.
Seeing The Unwinding Hours on their debut live performance at the Chemikal Underground Celtic Connections gig at the end of January removed any doubt that Knut would be a one off. Although it was a short set, it was clear that The Unwinding Hours had a selection of beauties ready for release. Now the debut album has come along and the songs sound just as good on record as they did live.
The Unwinding Hours don’t just sound like Aereogramme did. Of course there’s a lot of common ground in the styles and a lot of familiar dynamics remain, but this album sound more focused, more mature. The songs are grand but never overblown, ambitious and beautifully arranged, switching from delicate to loud in the blink of an eye.
It’s only February, so saying this is the best album released so far this year doesn’t mean much. The album does however lay down a strong benchmark for everything that has to follow it for the next eleven months.Welcome back Craig and Iain.
The self titled debut album by The Unwinding Hours is out now, from all good record shops online and off. Probably some bad ones too. Unless you live in the US, in which case you have to wait till March 16th, sorry. There’s a gig in Stereo in Glasgow on March 5th. If anyone fancies buying me a ticket for that I’ll love them forever, cause I’m a bit skint.