Olé! Matador do it again. Since its formation in 1989, the New York label has maintained its position as one of the main players in Independent underground garage rock n roll whatever you want to call it. Such luminaries as Superchunk, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Pavement have passed through their doors and now, as the good music revolution version 3.0 keeps on rocking, they show no sign of dropping the ball.
Hot on the heels of the fantastic album by The Ponys, Matador have now added Melbourne 3 piece Love of Diagrams to the stable. As CSF has already posted, they are probably tired of the Gang of Four comparisons, so I won’t tire them further with that one. But there is no getting away from their stripped down sound of driving bass, urgent drums and sparse, reverbed guitars underneath it all, with Guitarist Luke Horton and Bassist Antonia Sellbach sharing call and response vocal duties. But this economy of parts does not sacrifice the whole; as smalltown butchers once said (before getting swamped by Major Label, Tesco) whilst extolling the virtues of a particularly fine piece of meat “Look at That. Not a bit of waste on it.”
And they waste no time in kicking off the album, Form and Function is a 90 mph statement of intent, Sellbach and Horton’s dual vocals recalling Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth. The next few tracks continue in the same urgent vain, before they treat us to an interlude with the track ’Interlude’ - a nice and moody bass heavy instrumental, which shows they aren’t mere one-trick ponies - it reminds me of how fugazi used instrumentals to break up an album and take a breather. The next track Ms V. Export, is one of the strongest, Sellbach’s chantlike vocals take sidestage to her bass that practically eats up everything else around it.
Pretty much every press release that accompanies the latest hot new group, comes with the promise of incendiary live shows. The energy of the songs alone, makes me think that Love of Diagrams, wouldn’t disappoint on that front. However, until they are passing through your town - give some love of your own and get hold of this record.