Preston School Of Industry – Whale Bones

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Single Review by Mark Bayross

Named after a San Francisco reform school (attended by none other than country music legend Merle Haggard), Preston School Of Industry is actually the new band of former Pavement guitarist Spiral Stairs. What with his former band mate Stephen Malkmus also carving himself a solo career, Pavement fans now face the tantalising prospect of not one, but two, bands keeping the spirit alive.

WHALE BONES is taken from PSOI’s forthcoming debut album ALL THIS SOUNDS GAS, and, boy, does the shadow of Pavement loom large. Mr Stairs (real name Scott Kannberg) drawls his way through a fuzzy wall of mauled guitars that, while not exactly unleashing visceral thrills, twist and turn like it’s 1991 all over again.

This song, along with a few others on the album, is a leftover from Pavement’s last album TERROR TWILIGHT, while the B-sides are new, if nothing special. TO SQUASH IT FOR GOOD is a short instrumental meander, while “Imperial” resurrects the mournful tone of Bill Callahan, but without the lyrical bite.

Diverting, but not essential.

4 stars