Errors - New Relics

Like Animal Collective filtered through a ZX Spectrum.

Label: Rock Action

Rating: 7

The video which accompanies ‘Engine Homes’, the opening song of ‘New Relics’ - the EP comes out on, along with the usual formats, VHS, with a video for each song - begins with the image of a test card. Behind it, a keyboard chord that sounds like something from ‘Space:1999’ builds, and distorts, and so does the image, and everything goes a bit… weird.

Before too long we’re into geometric shapes spinning towards us through the darkness amidst ambient drones and chants; visuals and audio like something from an old episode of ‘Tomorrow’s World’ (which is nearly as much of a contradiction in terms as this EP’s name) on ‘Grangehaven’; cheesily-edited footage from a rave backed by bubbling keys and squelching, clicking drum machines, electronic percussion breakdowns soundtracking the Milky Way; and the distant vocals of ‘White Infinity’ alternately serenading a glamorous woman and an erupting volcano. 

Errors, the four-piece who signed to fellow countrymen Mogwai’s Rock Action records in 2004, have cornered the market in ‘post-electro’ - which basically means they’re the Scottish answer to Animal Collective, with their head less in the clouds and more in the 1980s, dealing in mood and texture rather than songs about exotic ladies dancing on the sand.

Like Panda Bear and co filtered through a ZX Spectrum, ‘New Relics’ is a short-but-sweet collection of kaleidoscopic, psychedelic instrumentals. The EP’s name is probably the best summation of what’s on offer here: rewound sounds from yesteryear repurposed, refitted, and rearranged into something new. Thrifty, perhaps - hey, these are austere times! - but Errors’ evocation of eighties pop, tricked out with post-rock structures, is fresh and exciting.

Essentially: a mini-album that sounds like New Order if they preferred hallucinogenics to… well, whatever it is the Hacienda used to be flooded with. Or Mogwai if they liked to dance.