Album review: North Atlantic Oscillation - Grappling Hooks
A surprising complexity and ambition inform this re-released debut album - but can Grappling Hooks’ early promise last the distance?
With a bonus disc of remixes and a BBC session in tow, Edinburgh trio NAO’s debut record is an even more varied proposition.
Named after the phenomenon of fluctuations in atmospheric pressure, NAO approach their music with arms as wide as the horizon, scooping up violins, orchestra or grandiose arrangements alongside a myriad of bleeps, glitches and musical sharp-turns to keep you on your toes.
Coming across like The Earlies on Cell Count’s psychedelic indie, the opening salvoes of Grappling Hooks are surprisingly coherent, and overall they just about manage to marshall their musical whims towards an enchanting, rather than self-absorbed, path.
But cogent beginnings frustratingly fizzle out in an insipid second half, heralded by the turgid wet lettuce that is Alexanderplatz, and the irritatingly scattergun drums of follow-up 77 Hours.
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An ambitious, assured and occasionally audacious debut that falls short of its aim, the bonus material is, as always, a mere distraction.
- 1 'Extreme' noise complaint as 150 gather for Islington party
- 2 Statue of Philip Noel-Baker replaced in Islington after 35 years
- 3 Meet the owner of the Camden Passage shop window where nothing is for sale
- 4 New Lidl to open in Finsbury Park's Arts Building next week
- 5 Elderly woman robbed of precious watch in daylight Finsbury Park incident
- 6 'We can do better': Islington Society calls for rethink on Barnard Park plans
- 7 Mum-of-two 'loses everything' in Islington fire
- 8 What do smoking and People Friendly Streets have in common?
- 9 Two men jailed for life after double murder
- 10 Statue to street cat Bob unveiled in Islington Green