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Australasia: Sin4tr4

Only a band from Italy could call themselves Australasia and not come from that part of the world (you'll find the band Canada are also Italian...), but who cares if they are in sore need of a map of the world, when their debut EP oozes with a classy maturity far beyond their years. Yes the songs on the quirkily titled Sin4tr4 all have similar structures, with slow passages built round samples, spoken word clips and laid back acoustic introspection, growing into more full on affairs that are either sludgy monstrously riffed doomfests, or no holds barred ambient maelstrom. However, whatever the outcome of the songs, it is the atmosphere that raises this short seven track EP far above its own constraints to become a genuinely immersive experience. Indeed when the Chinese spoken word outro to "Scenario", with casual strums and dreamy synths, segues into a chiming, hypnotic guitar fuelled "Retina", you really are transported far beyond where your physical being is left standing. The latter of these two songs is the only one where the big "pay-off" is resisted and the whole EP becomes all the more cohesive and less repetitive for that bravery.

"Apnea" also dares quite beautifully to stray slightly, through the cinematic quality of breathy female vocals that never quite bother with actual words, soaring over electro beats and ambient sounds. However where Australasia's heart really seems to reside is in the big guitar driven attacks of "Spine" or "Antenna", where the drums gallop along in the slipstream of crashing riffs.

The challenge for Australasia will come when they have to extend their thoughts beyond the 25 minutes or so of Sin4tr4, out into a full length release. In their current form there is a danger that songs structured so similarly could lose their undoubted edge. However let's leave that problem for another day and simply enjoy this most convincing and cohesive debut effort.

Track Listing
1. Antenna
2. Spine
3. Apnea
4. Scenario
5. Satellite
6. Retina
7. Fragile

Added: November 24th 2012
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Australasia on Bandcamp
Hits: 2053
Language: english

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