ALBUM: Bathymetry ‘Bathymetry’


I’m sorry to keep banging on (he said, banging on) but there is more happening in Liverpool than re-re-hashed Merseybeat. There is something weird going on the banks of The Mersey. Strange times dictate strange music. To answer your question: Bathymetry means the study of the ocean floor. Geographically, they are all over the place (Liverpool, Warrington, Carlisle), but I am using them as further evidence of something weird and wonderful going on up here.

If you want a convenient point of reference, it would be Stealing Sheep. But closer inspection reveals strands of The Breeders, The Slits and The Native Hipsters. However, Bathymetry are indubitably English. Their music is rich with Summertime and what it means to be from this small, narrow island. It references Rossetti, Carroll and Swift: All writers who used fantasy to explore the English psyche. Opener ‘Goblin Fruit’ (referencing ‘Goblin Market’ by Rossetti) is a sweetly, sinister epic opener.

What’s also interesting is music written from a woman’s perspective; that explores human themes. They have an unerring knack of using a joke to explore something deeply sinister. ‘Evil Leather Jacket’ may be about clothes, but it’s also about greed and desire. ‘Daft Bint’ is a wry, mocking stroll about watching someone get drunk: “There you go, down the rabbit hole”.

For a debut, it’s solid enough: the mellotrons, orchestras and twenty minute epics can wait. The music has the confidence to stray into klemzer and gumboot. What are striking are the richness, intelligence, humour and unsettling nature of it in totality.

“Summer’s never coming” they sing on ‘Outsider’. Bathymetry will probably ruin your picnic, but this is a stunning debut. Come on in, the water’s lovely.

Bathymetry is out now via Ugly Man Records.

Kev McCready