1988 – 2003 (15 years)
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
- Caz Riley
- David Gormley
- Mark Raine
- Paul Campion
Arguably now a spent force, ac acoustics briefly flirted with a breakthrough in the mid-late 1990s. They were widely championed by the music press and by peers such as Placebo.
At their peak they combined dense, fuzz-heavy riffage with cryptic, poetic lyrics, before later introducing keyboards and moving into a sparser, more repetition-based direction. Initially, they owed a debt to The Jesus and Mary Chain - blending furious white-noise with early Pavement-style experimentation and augmenting their two guitar, bass and drums instrumentation with saxophones and violins.
Their first release was the 1992 five track Wrist Eye demo, notable also for featuring Gerard Love from Teenage Fanclub on backing vocals. The demo gained them a recording contract with the independent label Elemental Records, who released their debut single, Sweatlodge/MV, in 1993. At this time, despite their relative obscurity, they displayed an aptitude for getting on the bill at relatively high profile gigs and opened for PJ Harvey, Spacemen 3 and The Jesus Lizard, amongst others.
In 1994, the band's debut album, Able Treasury, was released. Demonstrating a tighter sound, it was also notable for its unusual song titles.
Shortly after this release, Mark Raine replaced Roger Ward on guitar and the band began to move in a rockier, less feedback-drenched direction. This culminated in the 1997 release of the band's masterpiece, Victory Parts and gigs with Embrace, Stereophonics, dEUS, as well as a couple of tours with Placebo. The band's acumen and wall-of-noise approach garnered them sponsorship from Marshall amplifiers.
Despite the accolades for Victory Parts in the music press, ac acoustics remained a cult act. They left Elemental and signed with Yoyo Recordings, releasing the EPs Like Ribbons and She's With Stars. They parted with Yoyo in 2000 and moved to Cooking Vinyl, releasing a further EP Crush (continuing the Placebo connection thanks to backing vocal contributions from Brian Molko).
The band's line-up was augmented by a keyboardist (who had joined the band as a roadie) and two further albums, Understanding Music and O followed, the latter being completed in a mere ten days.
The band have always preferred to be referred to in lower case typography.
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