London post-psych collective Moderate Rebels now unveil their debut full-length album, The Sound of Security, which further pursues their sonic manifesto of “using as few words and chords as possible”. Despite being introduced by the group as “a load of overheard pub conversations, squashed into one song”, there’s a whole heap of wisdom in the words of ‘When The Cost Has No Value’, a deadpan roll-call of neologisms for our times set to two and a half minutes of loping drum-machine-and-strum-driven melody. The song cements the collective’s standing at the lyrical and sonic cutting-edge, sounding entirely effortless as they do so.
“We tried to create conditions where the songs could write themselves with minimum resistance; an automatic writing situation,” say Moderate Rebels. “The point was to remove ourselves, our beliefs and our intentions as much as possible; to just let it happen. It’s never been about us, we want to make music that aims at being more important than that.”
Having set out their hypnotically brutalist improv with prior releases God Sent Us (Nov 2016) and the Proxy EP (June 2017), the group decamped to a small Bermondsey studio to cut an album influenced by Spacemen 3, La Dusseldorf, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Roxy Music, Black Box Recorder, Jenny Hval, Death In Vegas and MGMT. These artists were not the only thing that impacted on the final record, however.
“There were churches on either side, so we’d hear the congregations singing and playing all day, celebrating their spiritual beliefs with a jubilant and communal noise. Without getting too much into psychogeography, that couldn’t help but bleed into what we were putting together. It’s powerful and uplifting stuff, no matter what your own particular philosophy may be. At the very least, it explains all the handclaps on the album!” The resulting 13 tracks, released as ‘The Sound of Security’ on Everyday Life Recordings on 8 December, are as fascinating and exhilarating as such contrary stimuli would suggest, being energetic, intoxicating and ruthless in their stark approach, yet imbued with all the freedom of a group utterly at ease. “Our music seems to be all about turning weaknesses into strengths,” say Moderate Rebels, a little modestly. “We decided to not try to gloss over our musical limitations and imperfections, and just embrace them.”
See Moderate Rebels live
12-14 January 2018: Rockaway Beach, Butlin’s Bognor Regis
10 February: Tooting Tram & Social, London SW17
24 February: The Finsbury, London N4