By Ross Jones
‘Throws’ is the self-titled first album from familiar duo Mike Lindsay & Sam Genders, previously of admired English folk-experimentalists Tunng. Having relocated together to Reykjavik, the friends fed on the traditionally vibrant creativity of the Icelandic capital to create a record of maturity; one that builds on the pair’s former foundations as the key minds behind an already eclectic group.
Throughout, encompassing and earthy harmonics that build out of their Folk traditions are cast amongst discomforting synth, which in elements works and in others leaves too much of a cold, forced feeling of trying to create something new. ‘Knife’ crafts splintered, trapped electronics amongst sweeping post-rock guitar and the duo’s newly found fondness for a melodic pop vocal line, creating something subtle and not too much to take in. In contrast album opener ‘The Harbour’ immediately replaces quite beautiful field harmonies with callous synthetics and an unapologetically brazen vocal delivery, leaving a real feeling of trial and error within the album’s creation.
What can’t be denied is the duo have an ability when it comes to crafting something of imaginative worth, and when they employ it just right a track with real intensity and excitement like ‘High Pressure Front’ is the fruit of those labours. The track builds out of it’s dark, druid hauntings slowly into a driving, uplifting pop song without notice – a hard ask, but one the duo pull off here with aplomb.
It leaves a slight disappointing taste when the group do try that little bit too hard to try and cram all of their interests into one bigger idea in an act to seem unique. Album closer ‘Under The Ice’s length would be respected if it wasn’t for the slightly clichéd spoken word monologue that takes priority over the interestingly understated mix of atmospheric swooning and cuts of electronic percussion.
While Throws certainly deliver some gems, there is too much rough here on first ask to be able to truly dig deep. Where the group are minute with their many influences they create something of true singularity, yet those don’t quite come across fully on ‘Throws’ crowded ideologies.