By Jon Milton
A month or so ago we interviewed Manchester based band Alex Rave and the Sceptical as they released their debut single Itch, and today marks the release of Profound Absurdities, the full EP from which that song was taken. The band describe the EP as a ‘discontented take on various aspects of life that we can all relate to’ with its lyrics exploring ‘Love, landlords, workplace exploitation, fear and despair’. It’s certainly the sort of thought provoking music that will make you ponder your lot.
Profound Absurdities is a cohesive body of work, full of reflection and melancholy that should be listened to as a whole. Singles Itch and Reasons are both good songs on their own but seem more complete when placed together with the others on the EP. Wistful opener Reasons sets the tone, all reverb heavy guitar swathes and impassioned vocals. So it Goes (So I’m Told) echoes the post punk / goth rock of their Manchester scene contemporaries Document and is followed by the hardy Itch. The mood of reflection continues with the disconsolate No Wonder and is completed with beautiful piano led Cher Ami/Coda, which in a way reminds me of Asleep by The Smiths.
The EP was recorded over five days at the bands’ guitarist Connor’s home studio in Huddersfield, with the title 'Profound Absurdities', ‘an existential reference to the seemingly relentless stream of absurd/meaningless obstacles that life throws at you - stressing about rent, pledging more time to a job than to the things and people that you love etc’. The band cite parallels between themes explored by that king of alienation Albert Camus in The Myth of Sisyphus and a couple of the tracks here, and that certainly seems a fitting description.
Profound Absurdities is out today, and you can listen to the full EP Here