Posts Tagged ‘Cuckundoo Records’

Interesting thoughts from one of my favourite web-based zines (though I wish they’d bring back the paper edition!) The Organ, on the new Vessels record ‘Helioscope‘.  Though this piece contrasts my own review in places, reading through I found myself nodding in agreement, and it’s refreshing to see the album being critiqued from a different viewpoint.  While there have been almost unanimous praise given-out from the likes of Pitchfork, The Fly, Drowned In Sound, Rocksound and BBC Music, The Organ review is the most insightful and offers up food for thought.  Still, I reckon ‘Helioscope’ will definitely find its way onto my end of year list.  It has certainly made a bigger impact than the latest Mogwai record and what I have heard from the forthcoming Explosions in the Sky album.

Vessels have been threatening far more than this for the last couple of years now, and no, this new album is not enough, they can’t get away with these post-rock clichés, they could and should be past this point by now shouldn’t they? You see, from most English bands this album would do, we’d be politely positive and make noises about expansive post rock and leave it at that. I mean, as the movement that is post rock goes this is really very very good, Vessels have made a more than decent post rock album, it is worthy of being a Thing of the Day here, and it probably is greedy to expect anything more isn’t it?

If we were to leave it at that then you’d think that The Organ isn’t overly enamoured with the Leeds quintet’s 2nd LP, but further investigation reveals otherwise:

And further into Helioscope, just when you think the opening hope has given way to the post-rock rule book and that it’s going to be all very safe and a little predictable and oh come on, we want more than this, Vessels throw in a curveball and hit you with something that, for once, you didn’t see coming…

Read the Rest of the Review

In other Vessels related news:

Our tune Ornafives is available from our Bandcamp page, on an mp3 compilation called “A Cheery Wave From Stranded Youngsters – Vol 2”, alongside some other great bands including You Slut!, Kasper Rosa, Khuda, and Maybeshewill.

In other news, this Friday April 1st we will be decamping down to London for the evening to record a live session for the wonderful Tom Robinson at BBC 6Music. His show starts at 7pm, and we’ll be performing three tunes from the new album, so please tune in and listen! (Source:


On their second LP, Leeds-based quintet Vessels eschews a portion of the eclecticism that was such a hallmark of previous outing ‘White Fields and Open Devices’ in favour of a dominant, vibrant and sleek sound.  Each track is choc full of intricate guitar work and intertwining melodies all underpinned by a top class rhythm section with drummer/ electronics man Tim Mitchell on absolutely phenomenal form.

There’s an air of confidence or, indeed, maturity seeping out each track, especially  apparent on the opening instrumental double salvo of ‘Monoform’ and ‘The Trap’.  Vocals are kept to a minimum, with the band possibly paying heed to the conception that this is one of their weaker points. Although this is a notion I don’t particularly agree with.  In fact, ‘All Our Ends’ vocal melody is an album highlight, which leaves you wanting more with its sun-bursting harmonies mixed in the staccato percussion, driving bass and glistening guitar work.

Obvious reference points include Post-Rockers Mogwai, particularly on ‘Later Than You Think’, an anthem that reminds of the latter day tracks of the Scottish group.  However, there’s certainly basis for the argument that Vessels have a little more in their locker in terms of musicianship than Stuart Braithwaite and co, who’s recent ‘Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will’ is a little awkward and cumbersome in places.  Which cannot be said of ‘Helioscope’, as evidenced on the labyrinth patterns and purposefully off-kilter percussion on ‘Art/Choke’.

It would seem Vessels have taken their renowned live form into the studio for ‘Helioscope’, culminating in an immersive and engaging 45+ minute listen from start to finish.  If the brooding but accessible punch of ‘Meatman, Piano Tuner, Prostitute’ is anything to go by, Vessels should be well placed to pick up an abundance of new fans, regular radio airplay and could even bother the upper echelons of the charts.


Vessels are a 5-piece from Leeds, who initially began life in 2005 with founding members Tim Mitchell (drums, laptop), Martin Teff (bass, guitar), Tom Evans (guitar, vocals) and Lee J. Malcolm (guitar, keys, electronics, vocals). The line up was completed by long time friend Peter Wright (guitar, bass, vocals) a year later. Since their inception, Vessels have honed their incendiary live set with over 100 shows, putting increasingly more adventurous and challenging songs to the test. Within this period there have been appearances at Leeds and Latitude festivals, and support slots with Caribou, Efterklang, This Will Destroy You and Brett Anderson. (Source:

While I patiently await delivery of the new Pitchfork approved Vessels album ‘Helioscope‘ from Norman Records, lets introduce the video of the week segment with a striking live rendition of ‘The Trap‘.  Shot complete with moody lighting and arty camera angles.  Those who have been lucky to catch this Leeds based outfit on tour will know they are revelation live, rotating instruments and blending genres in the blink of an eye.  I suspect ‘Helioscope’ might be a bit of a break through album, with Pitchfork claiming ‘Vessels’ way with arrangements and sonics produces something refreshingly out of the ordinary’. Vessels are a band intent on refreshing a post-rock scene teeming with identikit  quiet-loud bands. Don’t take my word for it though, please check the assorted downloads and streaming tracks below.

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