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Album Review

Not waiting long to do so, Flying Saucer Attack followed up its full-length debut with a singles collection — understandable, given how fond the band was from the start for releasing 7" vinyl as part of its modus operandi (nearly every FSA release has a pro-vinyl statement somewhere in the artwork). Described by Pearce in the liner notes as "the second FSA album but not album number two," Distance hangs together quite as well as the debut album, exploring various sides of the band's noted "rural psychedelia" approach. Two tracks, "Oceans 2" and "November Mist," were previously unreleased; otherwise, the remaining selections come from FSA's first three singles. "Oceans" itself makes for a lovely start, with Matt Elliott of the Third Eye Foundation adding rolling tribal percussion gently beneath an ever-evolving web of open-ended electric guitar and Brook's subtle bass. It calls to mind a dreamier take of Ash Ra Tempel's early days and stands up well in comparison. Another guest appearance is the semi-mysterious Rocker, a longtime collaborator of Pearce and company, who adds his computer — with no indication as to what it does — on the heavy electronic screams and mechanistic rhythms of the title track. One song from the self-titled debut also released as a single, "Wish," appears here as "Instrumental Wish" and lives up to the name, a truly beautiful combination of low drones, rolling feedback rhythms, and more echoing off into the beyond. Most of the tracks continue the established FSA approach, with Pearce's sometimes barely audible vocals coming across almost as wordless sighs through the thick but somehow never overbearing guitar crunches and riffs. On "November Mist" and "Soaring High," the folk influence in FSA comes through the clearest, the latter living up to the title on a beautiful post-Byrds guitar chime then treated with FSA's own brand of avant-garde lo-fi production.

Biography

Formed: 1993 in Bristol, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Formed in Bristol, England in 1993, the elusive avant-noise project Flying Saucer Attack primarily comprised the duo of singers/guitarists David Pearce and Rachel Brook, refugees from the group Lynda's Strange Vacation who formed FSA as an outlet for their interest in home-recording experimentation. Drawing influence from Krautrock, folk, and dream pop, they bowed with the single "Soaring High," followed by an...
Full bio