Single review by KevW
OK, so this single is called 'A Romance In Colditz'. You've already guessed it's not lyrics about skipping through meadows backed by joyous, honeyed melodies. Yep, this Bristol group aren't dealing with subject mater or sounds of a sunny disposition. At The Heart Of It All are a trio who take on harsh noise, just about welding it into the shape of a song. We can probably assume that the vocals aren't about candyfloss kisses and the joys of spring either, although with the heavily applied distortion it's difficult to tell, like an actor so heavily made up for a role that they're barely recognisable, just a few words can be plucked out here and there.
This is shoegaze and industrial rock slowly colliding to form an uneasy, clanging electrical noise, a sucker-punch for the ears and a solid attempt to cause pain in the cranium. And probably toothache. Despite this the atmosphere they drum up is chilling and powerful, but best avoided if you're suffering from the results of a heavy night. On the flip 'Ubik' is even more stark, those industrial beats seemingly replicating the sound of a factory from hell and the spooky vocal samples that punctuate them are fairly disturbing. Nothing here is specifically designed to create a shock factor and this intimidating music isn't contrived, it's just the result of three people's boundary pushing ideas. Unsettling, uneasy, uncompromising and unique, but not one for the average pop fan.
At The Heart Of It All's website
Buy the single
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