TRACK REVIEW: Aperture- Get in Line






Get in Line




Get in Line is available at:

November, 2015

Alternative; Punk; Dance; New Wave


Edinburgh, U.K.


GIVEN the depth of feeling among the music community…

Given the untimely passing of Viola Beach- a bright young band who were recently killed in a car crash in Sweden- there is a campaign to get their song Swings & Waterslides to the charts.  It is perhaps only right that a group who yearned for stardom and success should be honoured in such a way.  Given the horrible surroundings that propelled this campaign:  Let’s hope this is not just a zeitgeist measure that is a one-off thing.  Viola Beach are the personification of a band that is a lot more than the sum of their music.  Their attitude and personality were highlighted- fans and listeners that saw them in the flesh- and they are a group whose back catalogue- every song they have recorded- deserves wider scrutiny and long-term investigation.  While it is sad to see one of our up-and-coming groups taken away; the tragedy has at least proven how much the public care about real music.   It is a point I want to raise- the definition of the word ‘real’- in addition to Punk/Alternative sounds emerging; finishing off with a bit about Edinburgh’s best bands emerging.  Among by midst of skepticism- some bands that are not quite up to standard at the moment- there are a fair few that are pioneering some rather exciting and unexpected songs.  While there are some weak and ineffectual bands around- a depressing amount when you think about it- there is enough out there to suggest we have some future legends in our midst.  It is difficult to distinguish yourself from the crowd- given the amount of artists emerging- so gaining recognition is a hell of a challenge.  We all have our definition of what ‘real music’ consists.  To me, it is those who do not follow the pack and have their own way of working.  One of my main criticisms- when it comes to unoriginal bands- is how they just replicate their idols’ sounds.  Artists that are brave enough to experiment and pioneer are those who will get my applause.  Whether they are Rock or Alternative; Pop or Heavy Metal:  I will always follow those bands that push the envelope and do not copycat anyone else.  A lot of the bands heralded by critics over the past year- Chvrches, Wolf Alice and Beach House for example- have gained recognition for their incredible albums and way of working.  There is a trio of acts who very much have their own sound and are determined not to singled-in with any other group.  That said- and despite the recognition they have obtained- it seems to be the solo artists who have stolen focus.  I am not sure whether there are fewer bands that are truly exceptional- the lone stars are gaining foothold and plaudit- but their once-held dominance is starting to slip.  Among the newcomers working in the underground- trying to ensure bands are not overlooked- are some wonderful artists.  Aperture are an honest and hard-working quartet that have the potential to be one of our big artists of the future.  Before I raise a couple of new points- and highlight the merits of Aperture- let me introduce them to you:

Lisa McGlynn (vox)
Lachlan McIntosh (drums)
Tom Galbraith (guitar)
Martin Munoz  (bass)

Aperture were formed in 2010 by Lead Singer Lisa McGlynn, as a female -fronted alternative rock band. Independently released debut single ‘Chemistry’ .

Possessing a defined archaic sound, ‘Get In Line’ instantly finds your mind wandering into a souped-up version of the 80’s rock scene. While being complimented by both modernised adventure and tributes to Aperture’s inspirations (The Cure, Yeah Yeah Yeahs); ‘Get In Line’ is the definition of a time-hop, neatly allowing the track to be likened to every era of music.” (Gigslutz)


Aperture tracks have been played on Aaron Philips Amazing Radio Rock Show, Jim Gellatly’s Amazing Radio Show, Leith FM, Diamond FM, Pulse Radio and Radio Salford. The band have played with excellent Scottish acts such as Bwani Junction, United Fruit, Aerials Up and White Heath, Make Sparks and Vukovi.”

Aperture walks the line when it comes to originality and tribute.  The band has their heroes and favourite acts- including The Cure and Red Hot Chili Peppers- but do not sound too similar to any of them.  A lot great Alternative-cum-Punk bands are emerging and gaining the ear of radio stations and the media.  Whether it is the favoured sound at the moment- and rebels sufficiently against the bland Pop that seems to persist- I am not sure.  One thing I do know is that the public yearn and crave music that is direct and pure.  With no polish, garnish and falsehoods:  They seek bands that recall the legends of old whilst injecting something original and hard-hitting into the blend.  Aperture was new to me until a few weeks ago:  It has been great discovering a Scottish band that are gaining headway and respect.  Whilst I have looked at the Punk/Rock blends of Aperture; there is much more to them than that.  Throwing Dance and New Wave together to create music that fire on all cylinders.  Not your average and predictable band here:  The four-piece are a lot deeper and assured than the majority of their peers.  Anyone seeking a band that sticks in the mind and has the potential to remains on the scene:  We have a fine example of what you are looking for.  Edinburgh has come under my radar a lot over the years.  Whilst my last Scottish-based review concerned Glasgow- and I looked at the great bands from that city- it is to Edinburgh I am headed today.  Historically, the city has produced some dodgy acts- Bilbo Baggins are the stuff of nightmares- but are cranking out some of modern music’s finest acts.  Boards of Canada have been established for a long time but continue to produce wonderful music.  Young Fathers and Broken Records are among the most important modern-day acts playing around Edinburgh.  With The Beta Band and Idewild being among the city’s most influential artists; it is clearly a rich musical pedigree with regards Edinburgh.  In terms of the new artists coming through, Birdhead, Black International and Law are just a few examples of future stars.  The media does not spend a lot of time concentrating on Edinburgh bands- compared to the time they expend in London and Manchester- so we often have to rely on social media links.  What I do not is- from reviewing act around Scotland- is how many fine young musicians are playing here.  The future of music is going to hinge on whether the media expands their horizons and gives equal time to bands from other parts of the U.K.  Aperture have received some great radio play and are definitely on the rise:  I feel with a bit of media patronage they could transcend boundaries are emerge into the mainstream in years to come.  Whether they have an E.P. or album coming this year- I am not sure what their studio plans consist- they are a band worth keeping your eyes on.

If you have not heard of Aperture; you might be looking for acts and bands that have inspired them.  The list below- taken from the group’s Facebook page- is an indication and good guide:

The Cure, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Joy Division, PJ Harvey, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Artic Monkeys, Skunk Ananasie, Led Zepellin, Soundgarden, Nevermore, Altered Images, Blondie, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Paramore, Flyleaf, Steven Severin, The Bay City Rollers, Pat McGlynn Band …………Classic Rock

There are a lot of names on that list but it gives you an overview of what Aperture are all about.  I was excited reviewing Get in Line but was keen to look back and see how the band started out.  When looking at Get in Line– and how the song has developed from older efforts- Good to Know You is a pertinent start.  Confident and catchy from the off, it boasts some terrific band interplay and memorable lyrics.  If anything, the song requires that addition kick- a bigger performance and extra volume- but is an early song that showed just how nimble and authoritative the band is.  The lead vocals have clarity and run a gamut of emotions.  Switching course and breathless in its campaign:  One of the most compelling and passionate vocal performances from the band’s catalogue.  The chorus is instantly memorable and will leave you singing along and chanting upon further listens.  Hard to compare with other bands and artists- it has a distinct uniqueness- there is a mix of sounds and ideas brought in.

With Good to Know You released four years ago; Click is another song that is was released around the same time.  Displaying a similar force and passion of Good to Know You:  Here is another driving and determined assault that highlights that tight-knit bond the band shares.  The percussion and bass particularly stand out here.  The former is impressively teasing, ear-catching and consistent- a performance full of pace, power and technique.  The bass is allowed to shine and guides the song perfectly.  To be fair, each instrument is allowed to shine and demonstrate the musicianship and talents of all the band’s members.  Whilst not as catchy as Good to Know You; the band sounds tighter and more confident here.

Before their Get in Line E.P., the band sounded formed and confident, to say the least.  Their E.P. – and the song Get in Line– benefits from more polished production that brings that force, volume and clarity together.  Sounding stronger and more direct than ever; songs like Chemistry get inside the mind and the originality the band has.  Bringing in a few different influences- nothing too obvious- you get a song (and E.P.) that bristles with edginess and attitude; there’s heart and soulfulness- all coming together in exceptional performances.  The E.P.’s title track is a perfect representation of the band’s evolution.  The guys sound more together, confident and forceful than on earlier efforts.  Those sapling cuts had layers and hugely memorable moments, yet I felt there were some nerves at work.  Maybe not as full-bodied and bold as they should be; the newer songs are much more compelling and potent.  Maybe touring and gigs- between the older and new songs- has strengthened the band and lead to this improvement.  Whatever the reason; we have a four-piece that keeps getting better and Get in Line’s title track is a song definitely worth investigating.

With every track I assess; I try and dig down to its core and extrapolate meaning and definition from the lyrics.  As I settled down to study Aperture’s current single; I was stunned to attention.  The initial moments see that inimitable bass shine.  Few tracks give the bass a chance to come up front and lead a song.  When I look at band’s and bass players that get exposure- Led Zeppelin and Muse among them- I wonder why it is an instrument few others give exposure to.  Not as shredding and electrifying as guitar; it is a component that is hugely important and vital to the mix.  Aperture understands this and ensure Martin Munoz’s weapon lead the charge.  With its funky and sassy crawl- a snake-like slither that has plenty of teeth- you get hooked into that swirling and teasing line that is like a bomb floating through the sky- not exploding but menacing in its presence and potential.  That explosion arrives soon after:  The band unleashes some kick-ass and lightning licks that scratch, explode and endeavor.  The beginning- of the riffs that is- have that scratchiness and composure.  Never bursting and losing control- instead, they keep things tense and under-the-surface.  When our lead comes in; the lyrics have some obliqueness and open-for-interpretation mystery.  When looking up and down; side to side and all around- time is being taken and annoyance comes through in the voice.  As our heroine looks around; everybody is going to “take your time”.  Whilst getting things wrong- not sure if it is reference to something musical or romantic- you start to wonder what is being referenced.  The band repeats lyrics as mantras in the song.  The ideas of getting in line and taking your time are reintroduced time again.  Amazed by the band’s bond and passion- they have a knack when it comes to stunning compositions- I was trying to get to the bottom of those lyrics.

Sounding completely struck and involved; our heroine ensures every word hits the mark and speaks to the listen.  In those early exchanges, you start to piece things together and discover some truth and insight.  Telling people to get in line- whether music contemporaries; friends or perhaps people in general- there is emotion and revelation unfolding.  The true nature of the song is something I am not sure- may have to hear from the band on this one- but I get impressions of a woman who is struggling against the pressures of the modern world and expectations.  Perhaps it is a general statement of discontent and something political coming through.  Maybe being a young woman in a young band- and having struggled to get true recognition- it is a campaign against the political scene.  Maybe there are odd expectations in music- Aperture are not getting recognition they deserve- with everyone expecting something different.  Maybe there remains a simpler romantic unhappiness or stresses of life starting to surface.  Whatever the origins; you get involved in a performance with heart and sheer passion.  Before any more words are revealed, the band unleashes some catchy and spirited riffs- crossing Artic Monkeys with Siouxsie & the Banshees- with the entire band sounding tight and together.  That determination and simplicity rule throughout a song that is direct and economical.  There are few lyrics overall- a set of a few lines repeated throughout- whereas the composition is muscular, disciplined and concentrated.  Our heroine’s lead has plenty of life and diversity to it- at once spiked; the next breathless and pissed-off.  By having those core themes and lines; the listener cannot help but remember the song and find yourself singing along.  Imploring people to “move along”; there is a mix of confidence and mystery to the words.  Gaining pace and power as the song progresses; the band get heavier and more intense into the final moments.  The vocal quickens and that determination becomes more pronounced.  A song that could find itself played across national radio- it is not an inferior example of the type of music popularised at the moment- you wouldn’t bet against the Edinburgh quartet making big strides over the coming months.  By the end of Get in Line, I was compelled to listen again and discover new depths and insights.  That insatiable and deep performance- the vocal especially stands out- and catchy composition ensures repeated investigation.  More intent and confident than they ever have:  The band is on a trajectory that few others boast at the moment.

Congratulations must be leveled at a young group that has found inspiration and a very defined sound.  They have recollections of ‘80s Punk and some of their idols.  The band goes deeper and is more distinct than most on out there.  Loving their earliest songs- but finding them not getting the most from the group- I am pleased to hear a track that highlights the strengths and merits of Aperture.  The Scottish band leave the listener guessing throughout Get in Line.  Everyone will have their own ideas and meaning when they hear the song.  Not revealing any truths or direct insights; it is down to you to arrive at conclusions.  Lisa McGlynn’s lead voice perfectly brings passion and power to a song that forces its way through the speakers.  Forceful and intense- yet never overpowering and harsh- you have soulfulness and heart inside a voice that is enamoured of music’s legends.  Little embers of Punk mistresses and Rock masters come through in a performance with grit and determination.  Equally determined is the percussion of Lachlan McIntosh that boasts power, leadership and vitality at every stage.  Giving the song its heartbeat and punch; it is a performance that showcases him as one of the most consistent drummers on the block.  Tom Galbraith’s guitar work is busy and innovative throughout.  At once blood-letting and gurgling; the next spiky and scathed- it has so many layers and ideas.  Ensuring the lyrics are given perfect sonic representation:  It is a performance that has depth and power in spades.  An impressive and accomplished turn from a guitarist who is crucial to Aperture’s success.  Martin Munoz’s bass leads the song and shows what a talent he is.  Ensuring Get in Line begins with intrigue and panache; it is an instrument that brings all the components together and keeps the song disciplined and defined.  Melody, rhythm and personality come through in the bass that keeps on plugging and fascinating to the very end.


I have been checking Aperture’s Facebook timeline to see just where 2016 is going to take them.  The band have been hitting the campaign trail and promoting Get in Line heavily.  It is a song that has resonated hugely with critics and the public.  There is just something about the band performance and spirit that has awed and inspired.  The group unleashed the E.P. Get in Line last year.  That four-track release showed how intent and intense the band are/were.  Whilst the band are unsigned- an oversite that should be overturned soon enough- they certainly have momentum and impetus.  It is always hard and fraught making proclamations- with regards a band’s shelf-life and longevity- but I always feel confident when making such predictions.  Aperture have a defined and original sound that has enough familiarity to it to appeal to a wide range of listeners.  Bringing in hints of familiar acts- PJ Harvey to Yeah Yeah Yeahs- the Edinburgh alliance has plenty of unique insight and direction to stick in the mind.  While Get in Line has intensity and force to it:  There is enough dance and uplift to be discovered, too.  Whether the group has any immediate plans for a new E.P. – or will be touring for a while yet- it is hard to say.  From looking at Facebook; it seems the group are heavily promoting Get in Line and seeing how far they can get the song/E.P.  The band plays Stramash on February 24th and will be deciding what to do after that.  Following the acclaim the E.P. Get in Line received- and how much credit is still accruing- I can see the guys getting into the studio and giving us another E.P.  Until that time- and whatever they have in mind- it is great discovering a hungry young band that is working tirelessly.  Deserving of more than hometown appeal- they could gig down in London and find venues- I hope one day to see the band in the flesh.  Before concluding, it is worth coming back to the Edinburgh band market; Punk and Rock sounds; the importance of fostering ‘real’ music.  Whilst I have waxed lyrical about Glasgow over the past few weeks- when featuring some wonderful acts from the city- it is Edinburgh that comes to my focus today.  The city has hardly been idle when it comes to producing awesome bands.  If the likes of Young Fathers- a Mercury Prize-winning band whose album White Men Are Black Men Too is a staggering feat- proved anything is how much versatility and passion lies within the city.  I find there is a lot of diversity in Edinburgh bands- mixed races and genders rather than the predictable homogeneous- that leads to richer and more nuanced music.  Aside from Young Fathers, there a swathe of eager bands putting the Scottish capital on the musical map.  Great bands are great bands- regardless of which city they hail from- but I love looking at particular areas.  I am not sure what it is about Scotland that results in such consistency, quality and power.  It is a theory and question that will have to wait for another day, alas.

Bands that offer range and width- a point I have raised before- are always going to be more successful and lauded than those who lack imagination.  Too many lifeless and narrow bands play- finding long-term success hard to come by- whereas Aperture mix genres into their music.  It is not just Punk-Rock/Alternative hybrids, here.  There is Dance and New Wave to be discovered when you dig down.  Despite the varied and multifarious mixtures; there is consistency, focus and plenty of direction.  The original and nuanced music has already seduced critics and has seen the four-piece gain confidence and insensitive.  Where this takes them is down to them alone.  Let’s hope the guys make plans for the rest of the year and get their music to as many people as they can.  I shall leave things on a semi-sombre note.  Whilst I have mentioned Viola Beach- and the harsh circumstances that have brought their music to focus- it seems like a lot of great bands are being lost.  Not by death you see, but just calling it time and finding the pressure too much.  Among those who leave us; I am finding so much wonderful music being lost.  I am always stunned by the rise and prominence of musicians that have no quality or individuality to them.  It seems some fans are going out their way to promulgate and proffer the worst music has to offer.  Those with genuine innovation and ability have to fight harder and longer.  With the death- or temporary hiatus at least- of X Factor; it seems like there is a shift away from manufactured and committee-selected artists and towards those doing things honestly.  My lasting hope is that talent shows and plastic Pop stars are vanquished very soon.  The ruination and endless stink of music; they are taking time, attention and acclaim away from artists who are real and relatable.  Aperture have a long way to go- and will battle hard to get into the public focus- but are making big strides already.  Get in Line is a song that signals their intentions and lodges deeply in the brain.  Here’s to a successful and prosperous year for…

A band with a lot more to say.



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