Appliance - Re-Conditioned (RROOPP)

Featuring 44-tracks spread over three CDs this is a welcome summation of post-rock trio Appliance in the years before their last release, the 2003 album Are You Earthed.

Released Jan 10th, 2011 via RROOPP / By Norman Miller
Appliance - Re-Conditioned (RROOPP)
CD1 covers four Peel Sessions cut between 1998 and 2002, CD2 compiles various previously unheard demos, B-sides and other rarities spanning the band's full history, while CD3 pulls together their acclaimed trio of EPs – two available here for the first time on CD.

Quality is bound to vary over such a large number of tracks but Appliance come up with the goods more often than not, bringing real invention to a sonic palette of darkly melodic keyboards, taut drum patterns and sharply niggling guitar.

The Peel Sessions are something of a mixed bag, with several tracks sounding samey to the point of tedium but things are lifted by the standouts - the slacker beauty of 'Violins', the Numan-esque glacial prowl of 'Comrades (In A Moscow Hotel)', the gorgeous drift and intricate detailing of 'Electra' and 'Slow Roller', plus the Joy Division echoes of 'Pacifica'.

The B-Sides seem to pick up where the last few tracks mentioned leave off. There's a general mood of spooky vibes paired either with laidback lolloping rhythms – apart from a few tracks of niggling dancefloor electrobeats - with top marks going to the slow burning 'West Waves', the shimmering 'Milkrace', and the shivering 'Rev A'.

As you might expect, the EPs gathered on the third CD show the greatest polish and complexity – though slicker isn't necessarily better than the other stuff. The pick of this final bunch includes the unsettling distorted electronics of 'Ursa Major', the Tarwater-like 'Number Three Channel Is Clear', the distortion-wrapped 'Slow Drive' with its echoes of Pavement, and the sweet almost Americana swoon of 'IKB'.