I studied in Belfast for one year in 2003 and all I learnt in that time was how to make whole meals using just a toasted sandwich makers. It’s amazing how much stuff you can think off to fit between two bits of bread when all your other creative outlets are blocked. In short I had a horrible time apart from the night I met Stephen Malkmus, but even then the t-shirt he sold me as ‘grey/medium’ ended up being a body hugging ‘small/limegreen’ that I’ve only recently been able to fit into, and have now lost. It seems though that Belfast is now, fast becoming one of the places to be. I’d like to pretend that I was obviously so down with this shit that I preempted it all by moving there early, but sadly its seems to be more a case of turning up to the party whilst everyone was still sober and leaving before the hordes of fashionably late kids arrived from the pub at kicking out time. The kids in Belfast appear to off finally become so fed up of bands not taking the ferry across the Irish Sea that they’ve decided to take things into their own hands by making their own scene that lacks any of the pomp and pretentiousness you’d find in London, Edinburgh or say Manchester. Instead it’s full of friends helping friends, packed venues full of people interested in new music and a lot of guys and gals just having some good old fashioned fun. Not Squares are a fine example of this. Their sound could be filed under numerous genres but never nailed down to just one. They have an electro, almost nu-rave element about them but its offset by their duel bass players to give it a heavier edge. Similar to ‘echoes’ era ‘The Rapture’ in many ways but still retaining their own sound, Its honestly just sounds like three guys and a girl going out to make the sort of music they’d like to hear at a club or house party (see video below for example). Too ‘arty’ to be ‘dancey’ and too ‘dancy’ to be ‘arty’, think ‘Liars’ or ‘Health’ getting wasted and buying cheap Casio keyboards and neon t-shirts with pictures of Nietzsche on the front. The single comes out at the end of June with a tour to follow, I’ve been reliably informed that it will be available on a limited ‘fancy 7”’ so worth checking out the MySpace to get in quick on that. It builds on their demo EP (available below or via their last fm page) and show a band that listen to their fans, with it choc full of the kind of beats and riffs that you’ll find yourself desperate to see live. Forget Holy Fuck and Casio Kids, this is homegrown party music from a place thats recent history has always be described as ‘The troubles’. Come on that deserves a bit of a dance, no?
Stand out track: IYOUUSIT
Genre: Fun x Fun + a little fun
For Fans Of: The Rapture, Holy Fuck, Casio Kids, Health