Frustratingly named outfit Å (though various other places also peg them as Angstrom) released their self-titled debut album last week, and you can listen to some samples of every song on the album via a teaser below. Watching this preview clip having not heard anything from this group before most likely leaves one (well, at least me) believing Å make pretty straightforward rock in a similar style to Asian Kung-Fu Generation or even Bump Of Chicken, except with a few more keyboards lurking in the corners. It’s not a stop-everything-and-buy-this-album sorta preview, instead offering glimpses of catchy albeit unnoteworthy tracks that make me want to listen to the LP but not pay money for it. A so-so teaser, I’d say.
Å actually have a much better preview already on their MySpace page, and it’s simply the song “Stray Tact.” Whereas most of the snippets in the below teaser fail to excite, “Stray Tact” makes an impression right away by opening with a nebula of synth that quickly transforms into a sprinting drum beat decorated with a few spacey electronic noises. It’s a thrilling song, never following into any pattern by subtly changing up quite frequently, whether by adding a new keyboard sound or taking the vocals into a new direction. “Stray Tact” lacks anything you could classify as a chorus, instead racing ahead like one of those 3-D levels from the Sonic The Hedgehog games. It doesn’t even have a proper ending, everything just sort of fizzling out…I mean that in the most positive way here…and going to black. The official Å teaser offers glimpses at ho-hum rock – “Stray Tact” ends up being an entire adventure in three minutes.