British group Def Robot have opened up their repertoire with their debut album ‘Makers of Mountains’, blending an essence of 90s alternative rock with a touch of garage. It’s an album with a few twists and turns, knocking up a few surprise moments on the way.

Starting off in dreamy, brooding fashion is album opener ‘Falling Apart Again’, wrapped up in a wealth of vocal harmonies and effects. It’s a slow start for the record, and an interesting choice, making the following track, ‘A Mover and Shaker’, a bit of surprise with its hard hitting bass riff and cranked up guitars. It’s a catchy wake-up call before descending back into the slow, trudging dream of ‘Fall on You’.

The album continues to chop and change between moods, lulling you into a sense of calm before promptly slapping you in the face again. Songs such as the rather short, ‘Fortune Cookie Writer’ and the immediate singalong song ‘Long Time Dead’ are dark and atmospheric, whereas the swaggering ‘Ferman Saved My Life (CUT!)’ offers something heavier. There are one or two surprises throughout. ‘Sweet and Sour’, for example, serves up a huge poppy chorus in Brit pop style with jangling tambourines, while ‘Pieces of Me’ delves in to 80s pop territory with its sweet saxophone sounds cutting through the mix. ‘Gordon from Gordon’ is the closest the band get to a solid, straight up rock song, and it’s a welcome change of pace towards the end of the album. The final track is ‘Last Stop Coney’, which seems to end just as its kicking off, prompting an immediate re-listen. It seems an odd time to stop, but then this whole record is keen to let you expect the unexpected.

The record is steeped in guitar and vocal layers, offering a full sound of experimentation over a selection of solid riffs and quirky songwriting. It’s indie inspirations, coupled with its variety of sounds and directions, make this a record a fresh and interesting debut from Def Robot.

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Author: Craggy Collyde