When I saw the splatterings of paint in Hockeysmith's "But Blood" video, the cover of Rid Of Me, PJ Harvey's punishing sophomore album immediately flashed into my mind, as if the English guitarist had lashed it across the song herself. The influence of that iconic photo and the callousness it represents are felt on this new track from the Cornwall sisters, in which they screech their guitars to outstanding effect.
"But Blood," however, is less stark than Rid Of Me, vivified by the bubbling of Roland TB-303's acid house influence. This is no surprise; electronic experimentation has always been indelible on Hockeysmith's music, from the scorched ambient textures on "Now I Want To" to the mid-morning rave percussion on "Let's Bang." Their skills at creating downy, borderline Balearic atmospheres are well-established, but previous track "Meanwhile" was disturbed in a way that suggested an impending progression, with a manic, pitched-up kick cutting through one of their beautiful scenes.
On "But Blood," the differences between reverbed beauty, electronic experimentation and sonic dissonance are matched wonderfully, and Hockeysmith are its master trackers - they hint at the scope of these beautiful expanses without ever intimating that they might not know how to orient themselves.