Debut EP from trio: the Cold War never sounded so good

Manx band Post War Stories and producers at Kenaa Studios. From left: Gypo Buggane (Ballagroove Records), Ben O'Hare, Martyn Cain and Simon Campbell

Manx band Post War Stories and producers at Kenaa Studios. From left: Gypo Buggane (Ballagroove Records), Ben O'Hare, Martyn Cain and Simon Campbell

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Powerhouse trio Post War Stories have been cooking up a treat with debut EP Cold Wars, now available for public consumption on soundcloud.com/postwarstories

The genre-bending band; singer Paul Salisbury, bassist Martyn Cain and drummer Ben O’Hare, have unleashed four tracks on the site ahead of full release later this year. The songwriting is dark, the composition sweeping and the production atmospheric and crystal clear. For the latter, O’Hare is happy to ‘lavish Gypo Buggane with as much praise as he deserves’.

Ballagroove Records’ Buggane recorded, mixed and mastered the record, with the assistance of Simon Campbell in the earlier stages.

‘Their musical knowledge is incredible, we learned a lot,’ said Ben, on the expressive range of guitar tones on the EP. The percussion also enjoys a range of tone.

‘Sometimes I’ve got the snare turned off to get that low sound, stolen from dub. Portishead, Massive Attack; those Bristol bands are quite a big influence on us.’

He added lesser-known bands such as Darkstar inspired them to keep it simple; what you hear on the CD is what you hear live. Aptly-named opening track Darkstar stands out as tense but restrained; here floating harmonies take the place of crashing guitars.

‘In some ways it’s more difficult to play quiet than it is to play loud. Some say it sounds a bit like the XX, which we like,’ said Ben. ‘It’s one of those songs that really came into its own in the studio.’

With gigs both sides of the Irish Sea in the pipeline, the band have two (budget) videos planned, including filming at rehearsal space Kennaa Studios this weekend.

‘It’s the size of a hanger in there, and there’s no natural light,’ said Ben. ‘Because it’s sound proof, it has made us a tighter band. You clap your hands and it’s completely dead, but it means if you make a mistake it really stands out.’

Catch up with Post War Stories on Manx Radio on Saturday September 7 from 7.30pm, when they are guests on Ed Oldham’s show, to ‘talk music and play a bunch of records’.

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