Acrobatic Society - Kick Me, I'm Down

Acrobatic Society – Kick Me, I’m Down (Tiny Light Recordings)

If there are two things in this world that freak me out more than anything its clowns and people with melty ice-cream faces. So, when this ‘delightful’ piece of artwork reared its ugly head I was not predisposed to giving Acrobatic Society a favourable review. But never let it be said that Listen With Monger judges books by their covers so I pressed play and closed my eyes to be immediately transported back to any given Saturday or Sunday morning since about 1997. That is to say, opening track ‘Deek It’ has the effect of recreating a slow-waking, relentless and utterly confusing hangover. Pounding drums and circular melody just don’t let up and you are left (mentally) staggering through the debris of your life trying to remember just what excellent adventures you went on the previous tonight to make you feel just so bone-shakingly terrible. And once you’re through that ordeal, they go and hit you with ‘Pink’, a track so utterly disorientating that all you do is hold on to the floor and hope that the room stops spinning and the walls stop melting.

It’s not often I get to the third track of any record (‘Attention Deficit’ in this case) before I can even remotely link a band to someone else but Acrobatic Society are so uncompromising in their style that just when you think you’ve identified something familiar it turns out to be utterly unrecognisable. Even as I type this I can’t put my finger on it musically but in terms of attitude there are elements of the Fall and the darkest moments of the Young Knives. Aside from being a great song title, ‘Only Cholesterol Can Break Our Hearts’ is probably the lost track from the Monkey Dust soundtrack while ‘Surgical’ offers brief respite from the sensory onslaught that this EP provides with the melodic Violin work of Sinead Krzyzyk taking centre stage. Nevertheless, the band return to form on final track ‘Death Industry’ which is as cacophonous as it is energising.

Reading this review back you would be forgiven for thinking that I didn’t like this EP but you couldn’t be more wrong. The only thing I can relate it to is the first time you try an alcohol that wasn’t an alcopop or mixed with loads of coke. You know it tastes disgusting, your taste buds tell you that, but you feel enough good coming from the experience to make it worthwhile and you want to try it again to see if you can get it right. Acrobatic Society aren’t an instant band but persevere and you will find them utterly intoxicating. I take no responsibility for you waking up next to a clown or with a melty ice-cream face though. Shudder.

Live Dates:
8th March – EP LAUNCH @ The New Bridge Project Studios, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
24th April – Supporting Dingus Khan @ Heart Attack & Vine, Newcastle-upon-Tyne