Tuesday, 3 February 2015

EP Review - Le Thug - Place Is

Le Thug are a Glasgow based trio whose music is a mix of shoegaze effects, drone rock and experimental electronics mixed with dreamy vocals that, when all combined together, produces a intriguing package.

Opener Outer Hebridean  is a short burst of looped effects and treated guitars that immediately draws you into the EP.  It’s a bold opener as it's perhaps not the standout track on the EP, but it has something captivating about it especially in the way that Clio Alexandra MacLellan's vocals float beautifully over the music. 

Over all too quickly, Outer Hebridean  gives way to Pals,  a sparser track comprising simple clean beats, electronic effects and a lyric that speaks of revenge, “Maybe, baby, I’ll pack up all of my things/Take a trip away for a few days.  I’ll let you think I’ve left with no goodbye.”

Next up is Basketball Land  which has a harder sound than Pals  and is built around a distorted, Mogwai-esque guitar line that pulses and intertwines with beats that almost push towards a dancier feel, albeit a slowed down, more intense type of dance music, if that is even alone possible.  The longest track here, and the one that has been used to preview the EP, Basketball Land  is a fine example of the potential Le Thug have, and the standout on this release.

Paints  follows, moving away from the feel of the first three tracks by giving prominence to a pulsating electro bassline that brings to mind the more melodic parts of the likes of Nine Inch Nails' The Downward Spiral  or My Bloody Valentine's  Loveless before penultimate track Losing Song  returns to the script with another enjoyable mix of shoegazing and distortion.  The chorus is a treat too, bursting like a sunbeam through the fog of effects quite marvelously.

The EP concludes with FC,  a more ambient sounding piece with jagged guitar lines bringing to mind the experiments of Harmonia and other electronic Krautrock bands.  All said and done, Place Is  is a extraordinary EP, and one that demands repeated plays, revealing more and more subtleties with each listen.

- David McElroy

Le Thug - Place Is  is released on 16 February via Song, By Toad Records and is available on download or clear frosted 12" vinyl.  Pre-orders can be placed here.

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