Album Review – Electric Threads by Dignan Porch (Safe Suburban Home Records / Repeating Cloud / Hidden Bay Records) (2023)


Bedroom-pop enjoyed something of a renewal in concept during the lockdown periods musicians were forced to fill the long hours of tedium by increasingly honing their craft with a polish that sometimes belied the charm of their more quickly assembled previous releases.
Dignan Porch (originally Londoner Joe Walsh, then a full five-piece band and now back to his glorious singularity) has never lost any such “musical street cred” or DIY spirit, and as such, it is fitting that three of the labels with the biggest beating indie hearts in Safe Suburban Home Records, Repeating Cloud, and Hidden Bay Records all converge to offer an equally cool platform to get this superb album, Electric Threads, “out there.”
At the very core of every sound in this release is some mutation of the mixture of fuzz, muted melancholy, faux psyche-pop, and sudden bursts of what can only be described as perversely hectic.
At its most traditional and arguably best, the album sees Pictures, the title track, Simulation One, and the truly superb Hounded grab the coattails of Guided By Voices style fuzz and slowly grind it through everything from jangly psyche-rock to indie-folk and 70s pop-rock in an album that never veers too far from consummate originality despite the familiar reference points.
Such an aesthetic feels as though it angrily collapses into the strange but strangely alluring lo-fi industrial sound of Hidden Levels before crumbling into the relentless whirr and drone of States Revealed. Both tracks are bizarre in the context of the remainder of the tracks, almost as if Walsh was just being willfully contrary. Whatever their origins, the songs are perfect mid- to late-80s post-punk with frenetic vibrancy.
However, in such an energetic release, it is the stunning beauty of the only sub-midtempo tracks that truly stand out. Here, the simply stunning Mesmerized adopts the traditional jangled riffs and 60s persuasions of recent acts such as The Jangles, The Radio Field, and Kevin Robertson and injects it with lo-fi sensibilities that give it an irresistible sense of modernity, whereas fuzzy, muted, 3.A.M. Again style pastoral jangle haunts the wonderful closer, Ancestral Trail.
Gentle reflections juxtaposed with spurious muscle and all engulfed in the best of lo-fi finery—this is Dignan Porch at his very finest.






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