Pet Shimmers – Face Down in Meta review

by Phil Scarisbrick

Born out of Bristol, Pet Shimmers are a local supergroup of sorts. After a flurry of singles released during 2019, the seven-piece this week give us their first long player. Face Down in Meta takes us on a cosmic journey through the mind of front man, Oliver Wilde – delivering on the promise that last year’s singles whetted our appetite with. The record combines an eclectic array of instruments and electronica with lush vocal harmonies and wonderfully weird lyrics.

Thawed Out Plainclothes Demon opens with backwards loops and a deep, baritone choir creating the titular demonic mood for this short blast of an intro, before crashing into the fuzzy, staccato guitar stabs of Super Natural Teeth, complete with male and female dual lead vocals. Mortal Sport Argonaut sees a sole acoustic guitar battle with the electronic noises and melodies for prominence, while the the vocal melodies sound like they could easily have crossed the Severn Estuary from the minds of Super Furry Animals. Feels Hz features Goat Girl, and blends in their lo-fi vocal stylings with the now familiar Pet Shimmers sound for one of the record’s highlights.

The album’s closer – the eleven minute odyssey Crash Tense Dummies – combines all the elements that have littered the previous tracks, to create a fitting end to their debut. Cinematically arranged with a three part act – ebbing and flowing to create an emotional impact that climaxes with the closing crescendo. It is an incredibly accomplished piece of writing that not only excites us for where the band may go next, but makes happy to simply live in the moment and enjoy what we have now.

With a forthcoming tour with another Secret Meeting favourite – (Sandy) Alex G – on the horizon, 2020 looks to be an even more exciting year for the band than the last.

Secret Meeting score: 78

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