Quirke’s first EP treads softly to begin with, establishing an atmospheric resonance that will allow the later hyper pace of Break a Mirrored Leg to become infectious. The first echoey notes of We Landed are haunting and cavernous, creating a sense of location without specification, and encouraging quiet, whilst dimming the listener’s mood to a relaxed low. This scene-setting is essential, and whilst a jarring pause between tracks momentarily disrupts it, Break a Mirrored Leg begins where the first track of the EP left off: with a soundscape of echoes. The distinction is clear however, as a dawning of immediacy and tension is fuelled by the repetitive yet quiet machine sounds beginning to form a sense of regularity. The tension is heavy yet short lived before Quirke’s break-out song drops into action, and the contrast is highly effective. The rapidly paced beat that kicks in is at first reinforced only by the synth sounds repeating at the same high pace, and the slow but continually regular and distorted beep. Once the bass of the track is deepened, and the synth sounds layered, Break a Mirrored Leg reaches its climax, and it is a satisfyingly long lived one. The highlight of the EP, this track is an accomplishment of contrasts, a juxtaposition of the all-out-drive of its pace against the aural simplicity of its introduction. Quirke’s work here recalls the best of Fuck Buttons, the atmosphere of Roly Porter, and the relentless beats behind Crystal Castles.
The rest of the EP never hits the same zenith, but it continues in a similarly guttering vein. The title track Acid Beth allows a relax after the previous pace, pitching the melody of a jangly, distant-sounding, piano against the now familiar distorted and echoey background voices. The EP ends strongly: There’s Half a Moon in Your Mouth is slow burning and full of promise. The final track introduces layers of its final form individually, building from a repeating keyboard riff and a regular squeak, and combining these beginnings with the high kicks and bassy beats of its crescendo.
Acid Beth is an EP displaying Quirke’s promise in construction. Where his tracks lack in melody they excel in contrasts, juxtaposing atmospheric builds against high-energy beats, revelling in the moody lows and eclectic peaks of his sound.
Words: Rich Jinks