SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SONG : #146 : ISOSCLES

Isoceles were given a big write-up in The Guardian newspaper back in April 2008:-

Hometown: Glasgow.

The lineup: Jack Valentine (vocals, guitar), William Aikman (keyboards, vocals), Bobby Duff (drums, vocals), Andrew Wilson (bass, vocals)

The background: A year is a long time in pop music. And so it is that art scruffs Isosceles, typical of The Glasgow School (see also: Orange Juice and Josef K), have homed in with laser precision on CBGB-era bands for inspiration. Not 1976 or 1978, but 1977. To be really specific, their jerky, nervy art attack (featuring the sort of yelping Robert Smith/Tom Verlaine-ish vocals currently popular among the youngsters) recalls the first Talking Heads album (ie the one before they discovered Eno and funk), the first Richard Hell & The Voidoids LP Blank Generation, and Television’s epochal debut Marquee Moon (only the short, sharp, shockingly concise three- and four-minute tracks such as See No Evil and Friction rather than, say, the 10-minute title track with its lengthy rhythmic extrapolation of the central riff-motif)

Isosceles, featuring former mountain bike champion/music technology student/Belle & Sebastian LP cover star Valentine and maths prodigy Duff, only formed last year. They played their first gig at a rain-soaked DIY music festival cobbled together at a friend’s farm in the wilds of Scotland, the keyboards resting on bales of hay as electric fences buzzed menacingly in the background. The four-piece stunned the drenched revellers with titles such as Kitch (sic) Bitch, Get Your Hands Off and their eponymous theme song with its handclaps and wry, humorous self-aggrandising (“Look at what we’ve done, aren’t we having fun? Cos we’re marching…”). Suddenly the rain stopped falling, the clouds parted and the cows in the nearby field mooed as one. This was followed by a slot supporting Franz Ferdinand on their mini-tour of the highlands and islands in autumn 2007 after Alex Kapranos caught them live in a Clydeside warehouse. It was on this jaunt that Isosceles involved the audience by handing out triangles, at which point they decided they’d done the right thing by not calling themselves Parallelogram.

Their debut burst of ramshackle guitar pop, Get Your Hands Off, came out last autumn. Possibly the world’s first indie single to accuse women – drunk girls, rich girls – of being sex pests, its unlikely mix of Beefheart thrills and Modern Lovers drone augurs well for their self-produced second single, Kitch Bitch, which does a Common People by taking potshots at ladies who slum it. Good luck, fellas.

The buzz: “It’s no wonder Isosceles have been tipped as The Next Big Thing.”

The truth: So long as their female-baiting doesn’t repel half their potential audience, indie success is assured.

Most likely to: Make sub-editors sic (sic) with their misspellings.

Least likely to: Be played back-to-back with Hall & Oates’ Rich Girl on xfm.

What to buy: Kitch Bitch/Watertight is released by Art Goes Pop on May 5.

File next to: Talking Heads, Television, Scars, Kaiser Chiefs

As it turned out, they never got beyond releasing that second 45, seemingly fading away completely by the end of 2008.  I’ve a live version of the debut single, courtesy of its inclusion on a compilation CD picked up back in the day, but I thought I’d do a wee bit of villainous digging and come up with both sides of the debut single and the promo whch was made for the follow-up:-

mp3 : Isoceles – Get Your Hands Off
mp3 : Isoceles – I Go

Don’t know how the hell the Guardian writer invoked Talking Heads, Television and Scars…..but they are indeed as annoying as Kaiser Chiefs.

JC

One thought on “SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SONG : #146 : ISOSCLES

  1. “Most likely to: Make sub-editors sic (sic) with their misspellings.”
    Ahem: you misspelled their name in your headline.

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