Agony Shorthand

Monday, September 08, 2003
AISLERS SET : “HOW I LEARNED TO WRITE BACKWARDS”…..Their track on the 2003 “Frisco Styles” comp was such first-rate, complex pop music it got me curious, so I picked up a used copy of the AISLERS SET’s most recent CD from a catalog that numbers three full-length discs and a smattering of singles. It’s really strong – if you have a hankering for exceptionally well-crafted, UK post-punk & 1980s Postcard records-inspired pop, you’ll find one of the best paced & least cookie-cutter examples of it here. Vocalist Amy Linton has got a terrific voice, and in the “twee pop” world I think it’s pretty obvious that if ya can’t sing, take a hike. She can sing. (I once saw her previous band HENRY’S DRESS play with a bunch of garage punk acts & I daresay the “Dress” held their own with the drunk rockers). “Langour In The Balcony”, my pick for top track out of the eleven here, gallops forward at a punk rock tempo but is leavened with breezy vocals, crisp production & great washes of atmospheric sound. Likewise with the opening “Catherine Says”, a finger-snapping good time paen to loving Jesus without anyone knowing about it (no, this isn’t Christian rock). Not being particularly clued-in to their scene, I’m still pretty sure that the AISLERS SET are considered major players in the sunshine pop world, and that they might be getting some shrugs from the scene’s fanatical outliers due to “How I Learned To Write Backwards”’ non-conformity (some slow, languid songs; semi-experimental pacing in parts, etc.). But what do I know. It’s just a really good disc & well worth giving a go to.