Modern Apprentice Limited Edition
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IKARA COLT Modern Apprentice (2004 limited edition UK 12-track CD album in special filing sleeve style packaging with tri-fold booklet silver sleeve including the singles Wake In The City & Wanna Be That Way FPCD009)
Top customer reviews
It still attacks with military precision like its predecessor, it is still a crisp, sharp recording like its predecessor but this album is no mere replaying of former glories.
The drumming is concise and precise, the bass is clipped and driving, the guitar, at times borders on the belligerently moronic and then turns a corner of abstraction into high art territory and soaring melody, the vocals sneer and celebrate in equal measure.
Stand out tracks such as "Jackpot", "Modern feeling", "waste ground" and "Motorway"
only stand a little bit as the quality control on this album, as per their previous outing
Visceral thrills then to be had in the searing white light of this most extreme of the monochrome sets.
Buy this one and the first one, sit back and melt.
With this follow-up they appear to have lost some of the edgy bile of the first album to be replaced with a more accessible sonic landscape, that still seethes and surges with fire and vitriol. Since that debut there have been line-up changes within, as the 'Colts now operate as a two girl/two boy line-up. Produced by Alex Newport (At The Drive-In, Icarus Line<, Locust) their sound teeters on the verge of collapse, retaining a raw live buzz that is laden with hooks. Talking of which...Tracy Bellaries, provides surging bass as a driving 'lead' instrument - the same way Peter Hook's bass playing rose above mere rhythm section backing - lead vocalist Paul Resende, shows a marked fondness of Mark E. Smith vocal stylings, Dominic Young drums like a man possessed by a spirit of the wired, clipped economy of (New Order's) Stephen Morris and through Claire Ingram's Riot Grrl vocals and lead guitar duties, they have a 'Kim' (Deal or Gordon) indie chick goddess in waiting. They are quite a musical prospect.
The 'Colts come busting out the stable (sorry) with opener 'Wanna Be That Way'the glorious b****** offspring of indie cool and (s)punked-up swagger set to the sounds of prime era Sonic Youth, or The Stooges< electro-surging for uncertain modern times. Like the much-underrated Experimental Pop Band, these are the new cool kids of grindcore deathrock, with a solid gold indie record collection.
Not one of these twelve tunes outstays its welcome, and though they may not be chin-strokingly deep, they are fevered thrusts of urgent exclamation. There's sleazy electro disco of 'Modern Feeling' complete with sneering Riot grrl vocal back-up to the frantic blast of dumb shouty 'I'm With Stupid' and 'Automatic' blasts along on a killer Stoogeified stop-start head-banging riff. Veering away from the bloody-nosed guitar rifferamas, they hit the spot in different ways, as on the experimental electro throb of 'Motorway', which comes on like a cute female-fronted Suicide, to sound more than convincing. Even when the tempo drops as on 'How's the World Gonna Take You Now' they still brood along magnificently in a manner that suggests life beyond The Fall/Sonic Youth comparisons that they are lumbered with now.
The only criticism to this undoubted blast-furnace classic, is that the homage to their obvious heroes can become a bit predictable, making it feel like a transitional album between the effluents of their influences and striding out fully-formed in their own definitive sound. All too often the downfall is Paul Resende's Mark E. Smith yelping which can muddy a blazing tune with 'hackneyed-uh, impropriety-uh' (as M.E. Smith would('nt) say). But with every nod of recognition, there's a shake of the head towards a new unchartered direction that is defiantly Ikara Colt's. When they reach that point it will be a truly remarkable album instead of just a great one. One to watch for the future but one to get down and dirty with right now.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The answer is no - 'Modern Apprentice' is a great album, in many ways it is similar to the debut, but so much better and yes it is (dare I say it?) catchier. The album is very similar to `Sister' era Sonic Youth, except without the pomp. From the opener `Wanna be that Way', which sets the standard, to the closer, 'Automatic', this album is a rollercoaster ride of power punk with electronic tinges. These guys aren't modern apprentices, they are masters of their craft.
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