08.08.2015 — “Magnetic North” by Soviet X-Ray Record Club

Soviet X-Ray Record Club

If you only listen to one song today, make it “Magnetic North” by Soviet X-Ray Record Club (2015, from the album Wake).

Soviet X-Ray Record Club is a post-punk/shoegaze/dream pop quintet from Ipswich, Queensland, Australia. For practical purposes, they sometimes list Brisbane as their base. The band got started in 2012 and have earned somewhat of a cult following in their homeland, and they finally released their debut album on April 25 of this year. It’s said that their live shows bring to mind much noisier acts like Swans and A Place to Bury Strangers. That’s my kind of thing, and that’s what grabbed my attention in the emails I’ve gotten about this. After I listened for a short while, the music spoke for itself.

A couple of months ago, I got an email about a different song from this album. That was followed by another email about the album. My interns have been lazy, and when I was doing some much-needed mailbag maintenance a couple of days ago, I finally got around to downloading the album and listening to the whole thing. While SXRC isn’t as dark as APTBS, I can certainly understand the want to compare the two. To be fair, though, there is a song on this album “Good Things [I Only Think Of]” that sounds just like an APTBS song.

For my money, today’s song reminds me of something much different from that. Steven Appleton’s vocals on this song remind me a lot of Ian McCulloch. And one of the guitars sounds just like something Will Sergeant would have played. Yes. This sounds like mid-80s Bunnymen. I’m thinking specifically of “Bring on The Dancing Horses”.

“Magnetic North” by Soviet X-Ray Record Club

I also really like the driving bass and the drums, which are almost motorik. It’s that bright guitar in the bridge between the first and second verse that reminds me of Sergeant. It only lasts a few bars, but that same bit shows up later in the song after the vocals are done.

Even the lyrics in the second verse seem a bit Bunnymen-esque:

I’m breaking down inside
she’s slipping from my heart
And I don’t feel the way she does
When we are apart

I don’t know whether they intentionally set out to make an Echo & The Bunnymen song, but they sure accomplished that.

You can order a physical copy of Wake via bandcamp here

You can also go to the band’s website here for directions on how to get a digital download.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

One response to “08.08.2015 — “Magnetic North” by Soviet X-Ray Record Club

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