BATTLE HYMNS FOR A NEW REPUBLIC
ONE LITTLE INDIAN 5.03.06
Opening with a howl of feedback and slowly backing round into a thunder of drums, Plate Six set out their field of operations. Avant-garde shouting replaces a backing chorus and thrumming guitar build, apparently ever upwards. There’s not a lot in the way of tunes but there is a heavy sense of momentum. Not wanting to sound too much like a time capsule fom the distant past, the relentlessness reminds me of Wah! Heat! from the eighties, though the idiom is definitely one of the present day. If I’d been played this blind, I’d’ve guessed it had been released on the home of noise merchants Southern Records.
For a trio, they make a lot of noise and seem to have a barrel of self-belief. Dan Hickox has another gig as Dan Sartain’s bass player and sports a beard of considerable proportions, though who’s to know what is normal in Alabama? On disc Dan contributes guitar to the two guitar and drums line up. They say: “bass players were worthless and it was no advantage to put up with them any longer”. Not that Dan has issues…..
The band does seem to favour one guitar playing down the bottom end of the register in lieu of a formal bass….
Tracks sometimes linger, sometimes thrash, sometimes threaten and weave between chaos and regimen in that way that Sonic Youth do. The trio formula gives space on the record for instruments to breathe and the interplay of rhythm and texture has room to develop and become clear, giving this a listening quality like a jazz band messed up on mind-altering chemicals.