Wednesday, December 19, 2012

WRAPPING UP 2012 with Easter

If you cast your mind back to May on these pages, Thomas Long was talking about the “more rocked up” mark 2 version of Easter that had created the album “Innocence Man” and was on the cusp of releasing it. Come the autumn, with the album out of the traps and the band touring, there was another line-up change for the band and some internal re-shuffling of roles (Mark 2.1?). Although a quarter different in personnel, this version of the band was still damn sharp in delivering those towering songs from “Innocence Man”.

I thought the record an “extraordinary listen: an immense, brooding and ruggedly beautiful journey, as monumental and carefully hewn as the carvings at Mount Rushmore or the implacable Victorian brickwork of Strangeways prison”. Americana UK said “Easter have produced a pretty remarkable feat with "Innocence Man". Its six tracks, some stretching out over six or even eight minutes, are both expansive and intense. There is a delicate balancing act of discordant riffs against powerhouse drumming and intimate, articulate and half hidden singing... Easter are noise alchemists shaping discord and painful feedback into sound sculptures of disconnection and confusion. For the most part it sounds suitably splendid”. I have to disagree – I think it all sounds splendid.

Thomas Long here looks back on the last twelve months of releases and re-births.

What I will remember most about 2012 is...
Getting the album out this year was the big one. It took us a while so to finally have it out and get some good reviews, airplay and people getting into it has been great. But almost as important has been getting the new line-up together, it's feeling really good at the moment cos we can now get out and tour, which we weren't really able to do before. We just did a string of UK dates in November and it was a big buzz.

What should be forgotten about 2012...
Like I say the line-up change has worked out well but it's always a bit of a drag sorting it out, it's almost like starting afresh, it could crumble, but thankfully it hasn't.

The best gig we played was...
The album launch gig at Kraak was awesome - it was packed. But our gig in Edinburgh with Broken Records probably tops it. It was the last night of the tour, great crowd and the new line-up was really firing.

The best gig I saw was...
Best gig for me was Radiohead at the MEN [Arena], it was just immense, epic set, great choice of tracks, a real fan's set. Made me realise how great they are as I'd overlooked them a little bit over the last few years.

A record from 2012 that will still be played in 10 years time?
EL-P “Cancer 4 Cure” is great, really intense, paranoid as ever, and great production. Think he's still one of the few people pushing things in hip-hop. Live he was immense too, played the full album. Only just bought Swans “The Seer” but that's great, lot to get yr teeth into but I think it'll definitely be remembered.

Overlooked in 2012?
Easter “Innocence Man”? Ha!

And what can we look forward to in 2013 from Easter?
Hopefully have a seven inch out in the spring, and we're working on a proper UK tour for around that time as well. Then it'll be down to work on the second album which we’re building up tracks for at the moment. There might just be something else in the pipeline too but I don't want to jinx it.

I agree about “Innocence Man” being overlooked. Some enthusiastic reviews and praise from online sites and record shops, plays on 6Music and Xfm but it didn’t get the recognition it should have done in the monthlies or major music websites. If that was their loss, make sure it’s not yours too: “Innocence Man” is one of this year's, if not ANY year's, essential purchases.

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