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LE RENO AMPS Tear It Open (2008)

Le Reno Amps

Glasgow-based four piece Le Reno Amps mix deep fried Scottish Indie with Pouge-ish hell-raising folk/country. The band name is an anagram (almost) lifted from the band's main protagonists and songwriters Al (Reno) Nero - lead vocals and guitar, Scott (Le Amp) Maple - lead vocals, guitar, and harmonica. Where the missing 's' comes from no one knows, or cares. But it could be from either of the other band members Lindsey Scott (bass, vocal, cello) or Jason Sinclair (drums).

The first thing thought that springs to mind after pressing 'play' and being assaulted by a frenetically dervish guitar line and rhythm based around the Rawhide theme is 'what the f**k? And that 's before the musical insanity of strange time signatures that follow and vocals that are at brief moments beautiful and at others, frankly frightening.

Recorded last year with Andy Miller (Mogwai, Sons & Daughter, Scout Niblett) Tear It Open is the band's follow up to their critically acclaimed 2007 debut So For Your Thrills. And when you've stopped reeling from the rockabilly-opening salvo of Outlaws the melee descends into a rather beguiling concoction of indie, power pop and alt-county. A Scottish version of The Coral, if you will.

Only Scots could dream up deep-frying Mars Bars, but deep-fried indie / roots is in a class of it's own. Completely mental, but at the same time utterly compelling.


Review by Pete Whalley

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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