This is a review of "You've Driven For Miles And Not Remembered A Thing" recorded by This Et Al. The review was written by Sam Robson in 2005.
It took about four listens for this to click. I had no idea what I thought about it until repeat 4, and then the jagged and forceful charms of This Et Al won me over. “You’ve driven for Miles...” reminds me of a faster and punkier Mars Volta, or maybe I should be saying less self-indulgent. There are around three excellent melody lines that are submerged within the song structure and the blast of the guitars, but once discovered they delight so when listening you’re looking forward to when your favourite bit occurs. Turns out in the end every bit becomes your favourite in its own right. In short it’s challenging music, but it’s satisfying to rise to the challenge and give it time to allow tune osmosis to occur.
As with “You’ve driven...” with “All you’ll ever be is a Dancer” the band don’t mess about with intros it seems, as both tracks lead into immediate vocals. The song starts with a pounding punky verse, leading to some interesting falsetto, some discordant guitar noise, and then it stops. The song literally brushes past you and momentarily knocks you off your balance in 90 seconds, which has a subtle effect of making you want to listen again.
The highlight of this release for me is the fantastic drumming and harmonies, though I felt kind of let down I couldn’t make out the vocals a little more. This is probably a personal preference however as the chosen mix lends to a lo-fi feel others may prefer.