And So I Watch You From Afar
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And So I Watch You From Afar

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"SILENT BALLET - NEW YORK 9/10"

Score: 9/10


Outside of Tracer AMC, Northern Ireland is not known for its massive array of post-rock talent, but who gives a shit? And So I Watch You From Afar has come hurtling into the spotlight with its astounding EP, This is Our Machine and Nothing Can Stop It. This band is being lavished with praise by the Irish and British press, and this exposure is well justified; upon listening to this debut release, the listener almost gets the feeling that the band knew they would be successful.

The 5 track EP begins with "Holylands 4am," a short track that is full of energy. "Holyland" propels the listener along a hectic journey with as much substance as most other bands' ten minute "epics" achieve. This is quite an accomplishment, as the two minute introduction swiftly knocks us on our feet and we wildly anticipate what is to follow. While bands often place the most explosive track at the beginning of the release and then fade away in intensity from there, this is not the case with This is Our Machine...And So I Watch You From Afar continually raises the bar from track to track, and just when you think the peak has been reached, another uphill climb is tackled.

The band's longer tracks are not simply a stretched version of the shorter first track, but rather allow the band to show off intricate song-writing and show a much more evolved band in the larger space. These typically mark truly progressive tracks, while still using the tried-and-true post-rock crescendo formula perfectly. What bring these up that extra tier though, is the fact that the band does not rest on one idea and repeat it ad nauseam into a long song; And So I Watch You From Afar continues to progress, adding guitars, changing rhythms, building on riffs, and making sure that the listener is always mesmerized in their dynamic sound. The best example of this is "The Voiceless," a sweeping, spellbinding 7 minute epic that begins with beautiful, delicate guitars and ends with a soaring evocative crescendo.

One thing that should be mentioned, as it is quite obvious, is that the band takes a strong influence from the Explosions In The Sky post-rock sound. For some, this will count against the band, but also noting that over the length of the 26 minute EP the band is also reminiscent of Caspian and If These Trees Could Talk, I do believe many will learn to embrace this rising star. Countless new acts try to get a great sound by taking influences from some the most successful bands in the genre and generally fail miserably. And So I Watch You From Afar have nailed it, it's as simple as that.

- Idris Hussain

- Idris Hussain


"DROWNED IN SOUND LIVE REVIEW!! 9/10"


You have certain expectations of a band whose debut EP is titled 'This Is Our Machine And Nothing Can Stop It', namely momentum, drive, dynamism, and a sheer unfettered avalanche of sound. And So I Watch You From Afar effortlessly deliver, bringing a brain-annihilating barrage of rhythms and rottweiler, what's just been kicked in the knackers, fury. It's an awing show of musical strength. Looking across the venue I spot yourcodenameis:milo cowering in a corner.

ASIWYFA are of the instrumental post-rock ilk, but put away your childish Mogwai comparisons: they are far from being a flat-pack clone. Tonight we get prog, autobahn-cruising rhythms, flitting firefly guitar and jazz odyssey improv. Songs such as 'I Capture Castles' and 'The Machine' are ominous cavalcades of sound, the rippling percussion and primal riffs relentlessly battering the audience.

- Fra Jones - Drowned in Sound


"BBC ACROSS THE LINE - EP LAUNCH REVIEW 10/10"

BBC ACROSS THE LINE - EP LAUNCH REVIEW 10/10


..>..>..>..> ..> Live review
And So I Watch You From Afar 10/10

Tonight sees the launch of And So I Watch You From Afar's new EP, This Is Our Machine And Nothing Can Stop It, in the always cosy surrounds of Aunty Annie's. This experimental post-rock quartet have been going for some time now, but ever-modest frontman Tony Wright seems genuinely surprised with the numbers at tonight's gig. "We expected a better turn out", he jests. The place is bunged.

So with some minds already blown but the supports acts, the headliners are going to have to really tear things up. Thankfully, that's exactly what they do. Taking to the stage one by one, And So I Watch You From Afar begin to furiously sculpt their audio masterpieces. There are no inhibitions onstage tonight. Friars and co jump around onstage as furiously as an early Rage Against The Machine, which couldn't be in more contrast to the sound they are creating. The music is all positive and beautiful. The Voiceless is like a jig; all bouncy and celebratory. The set only consists of six or seven tunes, and whilst there are shouts for more after the set closes, there is no sense of dissatisfaction.

If the apocalypse is televised, these guys will provide the soundtrack.

Sully



- BBC1 Across the Line


"THIS IS THEIR MACHINE, AND NOTHING CAN STOP IT!"

THIS IS THEIR MACHINE, AND NOTHING CAN STOP IT!
Monday, 2 April 2007
..>..>..> ..> Pixie Sayter, Cruz, And So I Watch You From Afar @ Auntie Annies, 28th March


I was looking forward to tonight's gig. Thanks again to Jen I was going to see And So I Watch You From Afar - probably one of the most if not the most eagerly anticipated new bands, highly rated within the local scene and further afield. Whereas their near-neighbours in the province's post-rock scene, Tracer AMC, draw inevitable comparisons with Mogwai, ASIWYFA's gentle reverb-soaked melodies and more intrictae sound mirror Explosions In The Sky. I had heard a lot of their material prior to tonight's EP launch but I wanted to see if the four-piece could step up a gear live and add the extra dimension to their already impressive reputation and material that would seal their claim to be the next big thing about to burst onto the big time.

But first a few words on Pixie Sayter. Now I may have played a few too many drum and bass records for my ear's own good in my time but I was surely not the only one who felt the vocals were a wee bit quiet on Pixie's set. A shame, as her eyecatching mohican pony-tail and sombre, sensual singing in the style of PJ Harvey give her all the tools she needs to be a great live act and a real songwriting talent. Admirably backed up by her band the Sunshine Three I became less bothered about the acoustics and more impressed with her songs. I'll be aiming to see this wonderfully bubbly and friendly Pixie by name and nature again some time soon in the future.

Cruz certainly warmed up the crowd for what was about to come, Cruz being one man, a drum machine, a guitar and a lot of looping and even more distortion! This was firmly in the Mogwai soft-loud-soft-loud-soft-very-loud format and did everything in the requisite places that you would expect. I guess I should be more impressed that one guy and some technology can rival Glasgow's finest Satan-Fearer's sound, but while suitably roused, nothing stood out as memorable. That said, I would expect Cruz to quickly put together some more solid and unique material as his talent is undeniable.

But the night was now ready for the headliners. Launching their new EP This Is Our Machine And Nothing Can Stop It, highlights included the beautiful simple looping introduction to The Voiceless, which is instantly memorable and surprisingly catchy, a rare gift in this scene. It builds, gradually at first, slowly gaining momentum but building, and building, and *building* into something collossal, something fantastic. Rory Friers and Tony Wright between them weave a powerful yet subtle guitar sound, and in bass player Jonathan Adger they have a beast of a man and a beast of a musician. The drumming of Chris Wee sets ASIWYFA apart, both holding the tracks together and driving them forward.
It is on new track, The Holy Lands at 4am, that the extra edge I am looking for comes bursting out in an explosion of distortion, a silver sword that suddenly turns into a cast-iron sledgehammer, and the crowd and I go wild.

Yes, yes, and yes! Having disproved my doubts that their ethereal sound might not hold up live or musically allow them to fulfill their potential, And So I Watch You From Afar are building momentum fast. Tongiht I saw that truly, This Is Their Machine, And Nothing Can Stop It.

John Lawson

- John Lawson


Discography

"MOUNT KAILASH" CD Single (Self Released 09/06)

"THIS IS OUR MACHINE AND NOTHING CAN STOP IT" Debut EP (Self Released 03/07)

You can hear our music on LastFm, Myspace, Radio1 podcast, and

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Bio

We are a well oiled machine,
We like to shake venues to the ground,
We are 23ft 5in tall,
We have two beards and lots of ginger hair,
We have had 4 hernias, salmonella and 17 broken bones,
We have the fuckin greatest fans on earth,
We are poor but we like playing music too much,
We cant think of anything better in the world than playing our shows,
We love being "and so i watch you from afar",
We dare you to listen to us........
......This is Our Machine and Nothing Can Stop It.