Compulsion | PO Box 19577 | Kilbarchan |Johnstone | PA10 2WX | Scotland | UK

Fractured Wrist - Initial Sketches I

Fractured Wrist - Initial Sketches I coverBased in the central belt of Scotland Fractured Wrist have released the first of a series of EPs to be issued digitally and as limited run cassettes. Featuring influences from the lo-fi recordings of the Swell Maps, The Cleaners From Venus to public information and Giallo films of the 70's, this first volume recorded at home on a 4-track recorder salvaged from a skip recalls the nostalgia found within those first Ghost Box releases cut with the gloomy post-punk of the eighties. Its main comparison though is with the slew of homespun recordings that appeared during the eighties cassette culture.

The humming synths and layered intricate guitar chime of the brief opener 'Seconds' is followed by 'New Year' where loose bass tones meander around lo-if synths, opening out into trickles of synth flurries. A repeated guitar line weaves around flourishes of glinting synths unfurling into a series of melodic analogue patterns informed by the BBC's Radiophonic Workshop. It's perhaps no surprise then that the opening tracks sound like an evening tuned into BBC2 on 1970s television.

Opening to a series of electronic tones accompanied by xylophone chime 'Cat Claw' fast forwards a decade launching into morose driven bass lines and gloomy ringing guitar tones surrounded in harmonic synth washes. Picture something pitched somewhere between eighties New Order or The Cure's Seventeen Seconds mixed with German electronics via early Ghost Box Records. Designed as a haunted soundtrack for an imaginary Giallo film, this is where passages of guitar intricacies meet warm analogue synths wavering and chiming amidst the clink of bells and post-punk greyness.

Fractured Wrist's tracks play out as instrumental incidental music and soundtracks. Over loping bass notes, the ringing high-end guitar ripples of 'Winged Figure' almost echoed by the plink of synths, remind me of the incidental music of some Scottish film - maybe a Bill Forsyth one. Further on fragile guitar tones eke out shapes over sombre synth washes. Inspired by the Barbara Hepworth sculpture mounted on a wall to the side of the John Lewis store on Oxford Street, London it captures Fractured Wrist at their most austere and most optimistic. 'Deep Red', the final track, revisits that Dario Argento influence namechecking his horror classic in its title. Dispensing with the post-punk mannerisms and spacious arrangements for a darker and denser cinematic ambience filled with those synthetic chimes, couching Durutti Column guitar styled improvisations of soft half-chords and tumbling, ringing tones in sombre synth movements.

Initial Sketches might lack a polished sheen due to the limitations of its lo-fi recording techniques, but drawing on influences that don't overwhelm, within its rhythmless sound comprised of guitar, bass and analogue synths these 5 tracks lasting a mere 21 minutes, show a keen ear for composition and arrangements more complex than you might expect from what is a distinctly DIY release. Merging gloomy post-punk and analogue synths Fractured Wrist have created instrumentals and imaginary soundtracks reminiscent of the musical experimentation of eighties cassette culture which are melodic, uncontrived and worth discovering. Initial Sketches 1, the first of a series to be released, is available digitally and as a limited cassette available from Fractured Wrist bandcamp