Percolator, based in Dublin, Ireland, are a three piece group formed in 2009. With influences drawn from such diverse sounds as Krautrock, shoegaze, avant garde, experimental and prog rock, Percolator released their debut album, ‘Sestra’, in April this year. It’s out through Penske-Recordings, a Cork-based independent label which has also released albums from the likes of up and coming Irish bands including The Altered Hours and Magic Pockets.
‘Sestra’ comprises 8 tracks, and opens up with the vaguely discordant yet compelling ‘Spülmaschine’. The instrumental track has an industrial feel to it which reminds us of Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy. This feel continues with track 2, ‘Squishy Future’, which adds the light and airy vocals of band member Eleanor Myler to the mix. ‘Law and Order’, which follows next, is a lighter sounding track, but no less captivating, and the subtle vocals have the listener stretching their ears to hear, thus allowing them to pick up on the more nuanced instrumentation.
In addition to Eleanor, the trio includes Ian Chestnutt and John ‘Spud’ Murphy, the former of whom contributes vocals to ‘Kim Chi’. This fourth track has a very New Order flavour, and is one of our favourites on the album.
‘Crab Supernova’ takes us back to Eleanor’s gossamer voice, so lightly laid on the track they call to mind a gauze curtain blowing gently in a summer’s breeze. The drums, synths and guitars are the perfect foil to her vocals, and it’s this combination which gives this song the edge over ‘Kim Chi’ in our favourites.
‘Sestra’ has that certain something which seems to be unique to Irish artists – it’s almost impossible to pinpoint but it’s something that we can only attribute to coming from a country for whom music runs in the very veins of its people.