For all those desiring alternative, experimental—and somewhat uneven—electronic music, look no further than British trio Until the Ribbon Breaks’ (UTRB) debut album, A Lesson Unlearnt.
Reminiscent of the musical stylings of Massive Attack, UTRB paints a stark, minimalist soundscape in its introductory track “The Other Ones,” with its tasteful combination of muted percussion, sombre piano chords, and the hushed tones of frontman Pete Lawrie-Winfield. His beautifully husky voice continues on into the second track, “Orca,” as the vocals are nicely paired with a restless underlying synth beat, and rises to the spotlight in the sensual track “Persia” with wind instruments found in the exotic mix.
UTRB only starts to betray its youth as a band, however, through the seemingly haphazard and unsatisfying dabblings in musical styles in many of the following tracks. “A Taste of Silver” hits a good note, the drumming and filtered vocals stirring up a blues rock vibe à la The Black Keys. “Romeo” then tries to incorporate glitch-based audio which only makes its appearance halfway through, and “Spark,” while upbeat, is repetitive and entirely forgettable. Moreover, “Perspective” veers straight into hip-hop, but only succeeds in sticking out like a sore thumb compared to the other synth-based tracks.
Nevertheless, all is forgiven when “Revolution Indifference (ft. Run the Jewels)” unfolds. It would be no surprise if this tops the charts or finds itself in soundtracks for the silver screen, as its positively addicting beat and brief but fiery rap interlude allow for many enjoyable replays. They may have yet to decide on a definitive sound, but regardless, UTRB proves through its debut album that it’s a trio to watch out for in the near future—Montrealers can see for themselves this Friday when the band opens for London Grammar at Olympia.