I’m a huge fan of that ethereal sound the Cure were producing around the time of The Top and Head on the Door. I was so happy when I received the Here and Now EP from French musician, Laurent Guerrier that records under the moniker Dive and Drown.
Guerrier is heavily influenced by that era as well as 4AD bands like Cocteau Twins. This six track instrumental EP is a real homage to that period however it doesn’t wallow in its mores and idioms but uses it as a foundation to build from.
We open on the gothic splendour of ‘I’ll Give You This’. Spanning that early Cocteaus and Cure sound but with an added eastern influence this sets the mood for the EP and stamps Guerrier’s identity on your mind.
‘Discontent’, whilst a darkly bass driven track, is also a gloriously light and airy experience. The guitars are gossamer fine and drive a mean hook in the chorus movements.
Taking the pace down a notch ‘The End Of What Never Was’ enters into some really dark territory. Like a scary walk through some haunted woods at midnight this track had me on tenterhooks start to finish.
If ever there was an aptly named track its ‘This Sea’. The tension builds like the waves in an embryonic storm until we are being bombarded with sound and textures. It’s a very clever piece of work.
In contrast to the deafening roar of the previous track ‘Yet You Stand Tall’ is almost minimalist in its introduction. Then the rug is pulled out from under us. A* fuzzed-out bass blasts from the speakers and the drums kick in. This is a powerful, driving and vital track. It’s so full of life and is my stand out track.
We close on the epic ‘Dispossessed, Forgetful’. Like an amalgam of all we have heard so far, it’s a sprawling journey through the sonic palette of Here and Now. There is no better way to draw this experience to a close.
Guerrier has succeeded in creating a cohesive and all-consuming vision that stays true to itself from beginning to end. I think if Robin Guthrie heard this EP, he would be seriously impressed at what he heard. No greater compliment could I offer.
Here And Now is out now via the Dive and Drown Bandcamp page.