Skip to main content
A Magazine for

Matilda

In a world run by social networking websites, the ancient adage 'patience is a virtue that causes no shame' appears as more of a vice than anything else. When everything happens practically instantaneously, it becomes disposable. Like a metaphorical Rustler's BBQ Rib.

Take music as an example. The almost embarrassing amount of EPs, free downloads and leaked advanced releases on the internet means that everything is ultimately accessible to everyone at a mere mouse click's notice. When was the last time you bought an album, sat cross-legged in front of your speakers and listened from start to epic closure while reading the album's sample credits and eating a packet of Maltesers?

June, 1998.

The idea that Leeds quartet Stateless are bringing to the fray is one of indulgence. Their latest LP Matilda is a proper album. It begs for high fidelity, expensive headphones and a mere 49 minutes of your time.

The almost frightening scope of the LP is far exceeded by the sheer talent of its performers. Lead vocalist Chris James' haunting tones, Kidkanevil's trademark tribal poundings and bleak bleeping, bassist Justin Percival's unexpectedly deep, soulful serenade and drummer David Levin's, well...drumming.

The first release from the album, 'Ariel' plays like a Romany gypsy neophile's dream. The novelty of Mediterranean guitar noodlings are appeased by bass notes that 'womp' and/or 'squelch' and a steady, crispy, half-time beat. The melancholy it exhibits is beautifully crafted into the album's remaining ten offerings, no more so than in the simply gorgeous 'I'm On Fire', with one stoic waltz to another, deep and broody crooning and a crescendo that sounds like the trailer for a Christopher Nolan reboot of Edith Piaf's film biography.

'Miles to Go' and its haunted pianos, epic bass swells and 'this sweater is thicker than I remember' warmth implore rewind after rewind. Collaboration with the Balanescu String Quartet 'Song for the Outsider' is just bloody great.

The sheer fact that each track blends so beautifully from the last don't half make it hard to extract their individual merits; when everything works so well as a whole, taking away its constituent parts risks damaging its integrity.

If you can be virtuous enough, sit comfortably, break out your Sennheisers and pick your confectionary wisely. I had a Caramac.