Lo-fi Brit rock.

Self recording (in their bedroom),releasing (on their own label)and promoting an album is no easy feat but couple that with being a two piece and you have a double whammy - this is what Alice Rock do though, and listening to the album you get the impression that this is the way they like it, because although they are still unsigned and now on their second full length, they’re free to do their own thing.

They definitely manage to inject a very distinctive style and energy into their chosen brand of poppy goth rock, although obviously, being self produced, it’s a very ‘real’ and lo-fi affair, with all of the rough edges still on show. Unfortunately this low budget approach means that sometimes the vocals and jangly guitar sound can be pretty harsh and abrasive; take ‘Mail Order Bride’, track six, on which I had to turn the volume down several notches for fear of rupturing my ear drums as the vocals were incredibly shrill, most of the time though it’s just your usual low budget fuzzy open quality with background noise thrown in for good measure.

Whatever the result, you can’t help but admire this band’s D.I.Y ethic. A.R. have a very British sound; from the extremely mannered vocal accent and style (more than occasionally reminiscent of Siouxsie Sioux)to the down to earth and slightly jokey lyrics and the old school punk meets 80s goth-pop tunes; to be honest it’s a nice break from fake American accents and over produced slick, soulless mainstream ‘rock’.

There are some good moments on “Yesterday’s Makeup”, opener ‘Gestapo Lady’ being one of the best • decent catchy tune, understated yet effective guitar riffs and an excellent heavier section, it’s on tracks like these that their sound really comes together; part punk, part riot girl. However, despite its quirkiness and lo-fi charm the album doesn’t always work, there is a shrillness that can grate at times and quite a few of the tracks sound similar after about half way through.

An interesting record of upbeat, quirky and melodic tunes that works most of the time but occasionally suffers from recording restrictions.