Get ready to be told, elsewhere that HÆLOS sound like the xx, when, if they even do, it’s the xx of the awful and dreary lightning-does-strike-once second-album, not that lush debut. Actually, HÆLOS – awful font and stylised lettering and all – sounds like a throwback to 90s trip-hop – there are some lovely harmonies from all three band members (Arthur Delaney, Lotti Bernardout and Dom Goldsmith) but it amounts to not much more than Morcheeba.
I heard the late 90s guitars of Moby’s Play – and was just about sick out the car window as a result.
I heard Moloko and all that other landfill trip-hop.
So, despite one or two quite gorgeous moments, it all seems compromised and approached by committee and calculated and, often, not even phoned in, a text will suffice these days.
So of course the connection to the once-hallowed Matador label will tell people this might mean something (it doesn’t). And one or two singles will do enough business so that the ruse of an album can live on. But I couldn’t hear anything hear that I needed to hear again. Because it’s been done before, and most of it was nauseating the first time.