Bands to Watch #245: 2:54

By on Tuesday, 15th May 2012 at 12:00 pm

2:54 have already made 2012 theirs with an acclaimed showing at this year’s SXSW and supporting role on the Big Pink’s February UK tour. Their eponymous debut LP is set to be thrust in to the ether on the 28th of May and was produced by the legendary Alan Moulder of Smashing Pumpkins and Nine Inch Nails fame). Also, they’ve somehow managed to shoehorn in a European tour, with a brief return for the UK festival season. The Bristolian sisters have laid out a smorgasbord of live tantalisers in anticipation of the release of lead single ‘Creeping’ on the 18th of June, supporting the xx at their comeback gig tonight, followed by their biggest show yet at London Scala with Gross Magic and Echo Lake on the 7th of June.

Originally from the green shores of Ireland, siblings Hannah and Collette (separated by 2 years of existence and little else) did as many sisters do and ended up sharing both tastes and possessions. Luckily for the discerning music lover, their tastes were weighty and abrasive grunge and their possessions were a pair of beaten guitars.

Their curious moniker is derived from their love of the Melvins, specifically the point in ‘A History of Bad Men’ (from their 2006 release ‘[A)] Senile Animal’) where the girls describe the bass as “doomy and dreamy”. It follows that they cite their most potent influences among the ‘Riot grrrl’ movement with bands like Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney and Huggy Bear. In reality their sound is closer to the shoegazing, adolescent angst of early Queens of the Stone Age, Bad Brains, The Melvins (of course) as well as recent tour compatriots Warpaint and Effi Briest.

The minimalist grunge of the title track from their debut single ‘Creeping’ has an air of Horrors latest release ‘Skying’, made viscous by the powerful fuzz of the guitars, a Joy Division bass line and slight incoherence of the lyrics. The imagery is that of a Vivienne Westwood style interpretation of urban decay, as it builds through a walking bassline, up to a satisfying crescendo given air by the tone of the guitar solo.

Accompanying track ‘The March’ has a fluidity to the guitar that reverberates cavernously, and while the vocals are again muffled (by this time you get tempted to search NHS Direct to check for the effects of tinnitus) you can make out a melody that wouldn’t be out of place in 90s dance music. You can only assume that this powerfully minimalist formula of a stock core rhythm dressed up in differing shades will form the basis to the entire first album. The formula has already proved ample enough to persuade Zane Lowe to give them air time on his Radio1 show; Huw Stephens has done the same but saw fit to dedicate the entirety of his to 2:54 on May 10th. So, if this response is anything to go by, then there may be a fair few more people ready to rave about this refreshingly original partnership come album release day.

2:54 play Chats Palace with the xx tonight, with an album preview show at Rough Trade on the 31st of May and Scala (all London shows) on the 7th of June. Their eponymous debut will be released the 28th of May while their lead single ‘Creeping’ will be released the 18th of June on Fiction.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

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