Lapsus Linguae,

13th Note Club, 19th November

Lapsus Linguae are MENTAL. Not in a bad way, mind. But let's look at the evidence. They dress in matching T-shirts with the band name emblazoned in glittery letters, a bit like a punk rock Drifters. And yes, the bassist/singer has a bit of a Sid hairdo. But that's not the main reason for suspicions of insanity. No, you have to listen to the music - in fact, it's even more apparent on their demo which employs a full gamut of strings and other weird and wonderful instrments. That might sound familiar to you - don't Mogwai use non-conventional instruments? Mind you, so do other 'cred' bands - Belle and Sebastian, The Delgados, Emerson Lake and Palmer? Previously I caught 10 minutes of the band live and the inevitable 'p'-word (that's 'post-rock') crossed my lips, as these guys could show Slint a time-signature or 2. However, there was also a slightly off-kilter spacey feel to their music, which suggested further investigation was nevessary. Song titles likewise confirm the diagnosis - 'Pillows are for Postponement, not Prevention'... 'My Numb Left Hand The Parasite'... "nurse, the screens"!

Viewing the full set in a more concentrated way, the overall impression is of a band with punk leanings (not just their haircuts either) - a lot of shouty vocals when the tracks (perhaps a 50/50 split) aren't instrumental. But with tinkling piano and off-kilter rhythms, you think of Shellac trying to oust Richard Clayderman after a particularly acrominous band meeting.

Mention of the piano should also be made - not the most punk rock of instruments at the best of times. Lapsus Linguae work this into the songs somehow, without regard to fashion or convention, and somehow it works. The songs aren't instantly recognisabe, nor could you dance to them, but they have something which after a few listens grabs you. Easy listening it certainly ain't - and the prog rock comparisons have to be stated, though we're talking the clever end of the spectrum here. Perhaps this is how a reformed Van der Graaf would sounds? Or, with the Glasgow accents prominent, if Alex Harvey was starting out today he might sound more like this. I have no idea where Lapsus Linguae are headed, but with such a determinedly 'alternative' sound, I think they at least are quite clear. And I'm also sure they'll get there. After all, there's madness in their method.