Race To Neptune – Oh Contraire

From the opening notes of ‘Wanderlilly’, Race To Neptune’s Oh Contraire immediately brings up memories of classic, washed out shoegaze. The swirling, slacker guitar tones offer a gentle nod to Sonic Youth, which gradually build as the track progresses to create a wall of sound that wraps the listener in a warm comforting embrace. It’s the evocative chorus on the guitars that creates such an impact, offering a sense of nostalgia while also keeping its feet firmly in the here and now, looking straight ahead and ready to take you into the unknown future. Race To Neptune don’t just stick to one formula either – ‘Elysian Fields’ brings in acoustic tones that add a sensitivity with the bite of BritPop, while ‘Bulletful Of Piss’ takes a similar direction while unleashing a whole load of epic, indie guitars which screech and wail like there’s no tomorrow. What makes Race To Neptune’s sound on Oh Contraire is their remarkable ability to blend together such delicate tones with a restrained snarl often sitting underneath. Moments present themselves when a particular guitar riff will bubble up to the surface like a pan of boiling water, not least on ‘Iron Satire’, which draws on the classic tones of early Coldplay and Suede. Not wanting to pigeon hole the record too much, but any fans of mid nineties indie and Britpop, and lovers of grunge are going to find plenty to like on Oh Contraire.