This Et Al are another offering from the production line of Leeds-based post-rock bands along with Forward Russia and iLiKETRAiNS. Their press release boasts of 'Baby Machine' being a "journey into the disenchantment and the paranoia of the new post-millenial underclasses". So they've got a few issues but obviously in order to appreciate the music it's necessary to look beyond the hype machine.
Obviously, This Et Al are a little awkward in their approach and although eschewing the usual quiet/loud approach is a plus, their non-conformist attitude to melody could prove to be their undoing as songs ('Sabbatical' and the seemingly endless finale 'Transmit The Ends') veer off into so many directions that it sounds more like a lack of focus than an urge to experiment. Likewise, On 'Of National Importance' you can hear a great song trying to break out if only it were less busy and allowed a bit more space to breathe. Still, 'Wardens' and 'You've Driven For Miles' ("I've never seen a young man with so much fire in his belly" neatly sums up the band's manifesto) strikes a good balance between melodic shifts, aggression, unhinged harmonies and the quest to establish their own sound, whereas most of the other songs are only intermittently good. The main advantage of this fledgling group is that they have ideas aplenty but they just need to tone down the dynamics a little to give them a chance for a satisfying and prolonged career.