[sic] Magazine

First Glances – I See Angels

You know how it is when something just doesn’t feel right. Never quite comfortable with their former and vague appellation Glass , Manchester’s Paul Baird (vox/guitar), Chris Norwood (drums) and Martin Cowan (bass) took action plumping for an altogether more apt rebrand.

And, as names go, I See Angels does the job wonderfully, evoking the sort of transcendental mood necessary for fully absorbing the hushed and tender strains of their opener “Candle” – a track rendered all the better by its incidental field recordings and emotive piano part.

If forward looking in stage name, then I See Angels are however distinctly nostalgic when it comes to sound: theirs an intelligent indie, one unhappy to sit back and knock out summary statements. Thus, for example, and coincidentally punchier and more direct than most of the band’s canon, “Playing With Fire” is redolent of early Blur thanks to its crunching chord progressions; Baird on the other hand has different early 90s indie in mind, here channelling various streams concurrently leaving immediate comparison difficult – no bad thing for it allows the band sufficient space to form their own identity.

Maximising this freedom, they bring their A-game with the anthemic cut “The Bravest Thing” – a sure-fire festival favourite for an army of future fans. Similarly suited to centre stage, the widescreen chime and plod of “Embryo” demonstrates pensive concessions to the patient side of post-rock. Again ponderous, perhaps even to the point of introspection, the profound fade-out that closes “Come Out In The Light” also lingers long in the mind after its closing bars.

Peppering their compositions with the sort of guitar structures that made Radiohead millionaires, I See Angels are a striking proposition, Baird’s distinctive and aspirated mew in particular, seemingly as comfortable when documenting torment as it is on more squarely rocking material such as their “Angels In The Snow”. Reportedly already back in the studio for their “next evolutionary step”, here’s hoping any forthcoming I See Angels material is even closer to that promised celestial plane.

~Following an initial 8-track release as Glass entitled Teenage Galaxies on Caserta Red , the expanded, self-titled 11-track album is out now on Baird’s own label Mimic This .~