The subdued, ambient opening track of Manchester-based experimental artist Andi Jackson’s new album Sub Horror is inadequate preparation of what to expect from the ten track odyssey that awaits.
By Graeme Smith
Can’t Recall The Last Time You Drove Your Car is a chilled drone of a track akin to something you might hear from Animal Collective of No Age. Don’t let it fool you for one moment that you’ve got a handle on Andi’s sound through it though. It merely gives you a glimpse of what is to come.
Over ten tracks Andi takes us on a hypnotic, psychedelic journey through a number of states of being. Track two Living Dead is a sax-fuelled bombastic dance party which reminded me of Blackstar-era David Bowie. There are other Bowie-esque moments across the album too. Substantial Horror has a funky, looping bass and echoing horns that the Thin White Duke might have composed.
That’s not the long and short of it either. Each track invokes a different style, a different genre and a different mood. Code Switching is a short, industrious track that shows Andi at his most experimental. Monotonous instrumentals meld with distorted vocals. Antennas is pure psych, heavy with mystical guitars and chanting indie vocals. 9×9=100 is experimentally electronic, heavily-distorted synths give way to moment of clarity. All that and we’re only half way through.
It’s clear that Andi took a lot of inspiration from the pandemic when penning Sub Horror. Tracks give a sense of chaos, a journey into a new unknown. The Regularity Theory gives a sense of danger with screeching guitar laid over air raid sirens. Asbestos Mouth introduces throat singing and feels like a new spiritualism rising from the ashes of our current society. The Midwest’s Best Kept Secret is perhaps the album’s most accessible track. With gentle harmonies, it feels like a call for peace. Just in case you were left in any doubt about the inspirations, the last track is called Andemic. It’s a percussive rock-blues track that finishes things strongly.
Andi Jackson isn’t producing the kind of music that will appeal to everyone but Sub Horror is an album that rewards an open-minded listener. With such a range of styles, most can find one track that resonates with them. If you’re looking for something different and challenging to listen to today, I highly recommend Sub Horror. It’s a great showing from one of Manchester’s busiest musicians.
Check out the album below. If you like your music noisy, check out our Bang! playlist on Spotify.