The Unwinding Hours -‘The Unwinding Hours (Chemikal Underground).’
Fifteen years into their existence, Glasgow’s Chemikal Underground label continue to put out music that makes you realise just how essential they are to the development of music in Scotland and further afield. It may even make sense to speak of there beinga ‘Chemikal Underground aesthetic’ and the latest release from The Unwinding Hours is a welcome addition to a fine catalogue that includes some of the greatest albums of the last fifteen years, period.
That’s not to say that the debut from the Unwinding Hours is going over old ground. Far from it. As has been documented over the last month, The Unwinding Hours is a project from Iain Cook and Craig B of the much-missed Aereogramme. Nut to dismiss this simply as Arereogramme part 2 would be to miss the point. The Unwinding Hours are a great act in their own right, and the whispers about how good this album is are getting louder and louder.
It starts off with the fantastic ‘Knut’ which has beeen doing the rounds as a free download for sometime now. The greatest track of the year so far, it is indicative of how strong the album is, but is far from being followed by a succession of songs that sound exactly like it. ‘Tightrope’ is gently anthemic and ‘Solstice’ has hints of electronica. Yet still the power of the full-on from a whisper to a scream crescendoes makes its’ presence felt, as does the beautiful sadness that hangs over
Perhaps what makes this album so special is that rather than being conceived as a result of a few jams or hastily written songs, it had a slow and gentle gestation period. Bizarrely, when Craig started writing the songs he wasn’t even expecting a commercial release. Now there are tentative plans for a second album.
On the evidence of this, yes please, and in your own time, guys. If this isn’t a frequent appearance on the end of year best-of lists, then people have no ears.
The Unwinding Hours is out now on CD and download on Chemikal Underground. The vinyl will be available from March 15.