One Unique Signal: Aether

Rampant second from West London five-piece.

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

Anyone with a thing for Sonic Youth or The Telescopes should make a bee-line for One Unique Signal. This belated follow-up to 2005 debut Tribe, Castle And Nation finds the Brentford combo offering up dishloads of noisy drone-rock, the immersive effect of their music accentuated by the kind of production that suggests the whole thing was recorded in some subterranean chamber.

The vocals are murky as hell, rendered in various shades of black, while the triple-guitar attack of Byron Jackson, Nick Keech and James Messenger makes for a clammy wall of distorted sound. A terrific piece of stampeding psych, Luna Attractions is all choppy riffs and raw power, and there’s more than a touch of VU to The Under Side’s howling solo and insistent rumble.

They approximate The Fall’s claustrophobia on the less frenetic Amplitude, and Celebration And Absence sees them head off into real experimentalism.

Repetition is a key feature of what they do. Seed and the closing title track are driven by cyclical riffs and Dan Davis’s terse drumming, their impact made all the more eerie by disembodied shrieks that hint at some secret ritual. Grab your headphones and play this very, very loud.

Rob Hughes

Freelance writer for Classic Rock since 2008, and sister title Prog since its inception in 2009. Regular contributor to Uncut magazine for over 20 years. Other clients include Word magazine, Record Collector, The Guardian, Sunday Times, The Telegraph and When Saturday Comes. Alongside Marc Riley, co-presenter of long-running A-Z Of David Bowie podcast. Also appears twice a week on Riley’s BBC6 radio show, rifling through old copies of the NME and Melody Maker in the Parallel Universe slot. Designed Aston Villa’s kit during a previous life as a sportswear designer. Geezer Butler told him he loved the all-black away strip.