London / Berlin based post punk trio Ben Leverock, Stuart Gardham and John Petrie make up Venn – an ethereal collaboration that has graced our promo inbox with one of the most exciting album releases of the year thus far.
The momentum of 2016, with the bands two 12″ releases, has not seemed to subside with this latest outing on Full Time Hobby records. Runes is very much a ruminative experience, and something to be enjoyed as much in solace as in elated states of mind. Because the juxtapositions of euphoric guitar riff sit aside disturbing lyrics and un-settling themes.
This is an album with breadth of influences. Elements of Krautrock reside in tracks including Esalen 64 or Waxen Palm. Yet greater parallels could be drawn between the likes of Brian Jonestown Massacre and ‘A Smaller Part’, or Joy Division with ‘Bigger Fiction’. Standout track ‘Legacy Project’ reveals once again themes of Krautrock excellence similar to that of Tangerine Dream or Neu!. The use of guitar, synthesizer and drum machines have allowed Venn to pushed forward from their ties with genre, and in departing their original post-punk-krautrock template, have emerged as a neo-punk collective capable of exploring new sounds that bellow originality.
There is maturity within their sound. Something remarkable to see considering the bands background. Ben and Stuart both fired from a previous group, and their third band mate picked up from a Gumtree advert. And in consideration of this, Runes holds itself up as a sign of the times. This border spanning internet collaboration has a set of timeless tightly packed compositions boasting elegance and flair.