Dynamic, intelligent and 'damn good fun', POST's debut mini-album, cavalcade, is a ride worth taking, as Andrew R. Hill finds out.
POST began life as a solo songwriting vehicle for Graham Wann, former guitarist, singer and songwriter of Bricolage. The latter emerged in the early-mid aughts, a key part of the exciting Glasgow scene that also included the likes of Franz Ferdinand, Mother & The Addicts, 1990s and the Royal We. Their impact was nowhere near as great as it should’ve been, and their self-titled debut - essential for fans of Postcard and melodic, intelligent guitar music – served as a final testament rather than a first chapter. POST’s debut (mini-)album cavalcade shares many of the melodic and lyrical markers that made Bricolage (and numerous preceding singles) great, but approaches them with an expanded sonic palette, often highly reminiscent of Low-era Bowie.
From the off cavalcade is taut, a spartan arrangement on Monument to a Lost Cause centring around a cyclical guitar riff and Wann’s vocal, the latter of which provides much of the track’s build; this boldly positions both the song and the record in opposition to contemporary ‘more is more’ attitudes to production by eschewing extensive layering. That the song captivates from the first beat, even though its tempo is just slightly faster than mid-paced, demonstrates that an enhanced use of dynamics is at work, in addition to well-crafted songwriting flair.
New Play Thing is a catchy glam stomp underpinned by a monosynth bass note, while R.I.T.H. is the track that harks back most to Bricolage’s scene, a winding lead guitar line carrying along frantic disco drums and brittle, funk-infused rhythm guitar. New Built Fears Love brings to mind Orange Juice and Pulp in the in their respective balladeering modes (but somehow doesn’t sound particularly like either), and manages to be genuinely lovely without resorting to arrangement clichés.
Metro Camel sounds like a lost track from Low, no small compliment, and is overt in demonstrating that album’s influence, as well as revealing touches of the Krautrock/Kosmische acts that inspired Bowie, Eno and Pop so much in late-‘70s Berlin; Ring Binder mines much of the same territory, albeit in a more spacious, psychedelic manner, harnessing an off-kilter drumbeat to superb effect.
cavalcade whizzes by in just under twenty-five minutes (it is a mini-album, after all), it doesn’t hang around any longer than it has to and uses a variety of influences in an engaging and refreshing way. It’s confident, it’s sharp and, perhaps most importantly, it’s damn good fun without having to be utterly brainless – pretty rare qualities, all told. More please.