The Incomprehensible Static – Quarter Mile Burnout (Reckless Yes)

The Incomprehensible Static – Quarter Mile Burnout (Reckless Yes)

Surf-rock instrumental and musical hauntology is the order of the day on the first single from The Incomprehensible Static – solo project of Pete Darrington (Cable, GodNo!) out on Reckless Yes ahead of a debut album.

The Incomprehensible Static - Pete DarringtonArtist: The Incomprehensible Static
Track: Quarter Mile Burnout
Label: Reckless Yes
Released: 8 October 2021
Find it: Bandcamp | Spotify

We often talk of the rose-tinted glasses, the tendency to view the past too kindly. We so often fill our memories and colour our ideas of times before us with misty-eyed longing, and hungrily consume any postcard from that past we can find. We hold with fascination the alternative timeline of the future those from that past envisioned: it’s techno-utopian illustrations are still the blueprints for our dreams.

It’s that Golden Age of Futurism that Pete Darrington – Pete Static as he’s credited on this record –  romps through on single Quarter Mile Burnout in his latest musical guise as The Incomprehensible Static. Half of label Reckless Yes (editor: for full disclosure I’m the other half), bassist in ’90s angular noiseniks Cable, and guitarist in imprint supergroup GodNo! he’s quietly quite a prolific multi-instrumentalist.

While the trend might be for pandemic records to self-reflect and succumb to heightened introspection Darrington escapes to a future that never came to pass. One where Flying Saucers visited, our cities were re-shaped to be motoring-optimal, and technology liberated us. Science fiction was quickly becoming science fact as that past raced for space while on the ground their fitted their homes with comfort and convenience. Big dreams from a big nation as Americana shot through every imagined future from that real past.

Describing the track he brings this vision further to life. He said it was, “a white knuckle homage to 1950s hot-rodding, quarter mile drag racing and greaser car culture that first erupted when the teenager was invented.”

Across the two-minutes of this first single tropes of the retro-futuristic sound come in thick and fast; chiming guitars slowly climbing only to fall twice as quick, organ underpinning the sound (provided by Jay Churchley of Nervous Twitch), rhythms built out of riffs, and surfy-twang at the forefront of it all. There’s a build of excitement – that imagined drag race from flag drop to tyre-burning finish line – and most of all a huge sense of fun, and a deep love for that Golden Age.

There’s plenty of that surf-rock infused Americana around in the indie of the present, and there’s always the risk that leaning heavily into retro sounds and imagery leaves artist and release staid, with the glow of that imagined future decidedly dimmed. Not so here as with that chunky rounded organ sound sitting flawlessly against the warm guitar tones, the wide-eyed excitement of possible futures infectiously chimes through the track. The present might not be working out that well but with this single dreams of a better future are thrillingly reimagined.

Quarter Mile Burnout by The Incomprehensible Static is out digitally now on Reckless Yes. Debut album Transmitting LIVE From The FUTURE will follow in October and is available for pre-order on 10″ vinyl, CD and digital over on Bandcamp now.

Find The Incomprehensible Static: Twitter | Instagram | Spotify | Bandcamp

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Disclosure: Sarah Lay is editor of Popoptica and co-founder of Reckless Yes, so has some involvement in the release of this record – but she really does only write about or work on music she loves.

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Sarah Lay

Sarah Lay is editor of Popoptica.
A long-standing music journalist she's also co-founder of independent record label Reckless Yes, an author of novels, and when not messing around with words and music, a digital strategist.
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