Underground Railroad - White Night Stand

Underground Railroad

White Night Stand

Released: June 13 2011

Genre: Indie Rock

Label: One Little Indian

Rating: 4.5/5

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By: James Murray

The return of Underground Railroad comes in the form of White Night Stand: a drastic but positive progression from the raw sounds of previous LP, Sticks and Stones.

The Parisian-via-London three piece, through the creation of White Night Stand, have found a deep and grungey style of rock music bursting with originality. Throughout the record’s fifty minutes of playtime, Underground Railroad experiment with a diverse tracklist, from the long-lasting album centrepiece Seagull Attack to the Radiohead-esque vibes of new single Ginkgo Biloba.

Through the album’s twists and turns, one of many highlights is We Were Slumbering – an experimental drum-driven track that takes full advantage of production effects without becoming an obstacle melodiously. The unforgettable chorus dissolves into darkness as Raphael Mura’s digitalised vocals trail into eerie nothingness.

Previous single Russian Doll sits a comfortable five tracks into the LP, and is without a doubt the album anthem and expected future encore. The fast-paced nature of Russian Doll feels somewhat out of place on a predominantly slower record, however, it captures the true meaning of the record through it’s busy composition. In the words of Raphael: “I was writing about all these dark bars in London, the weirdness of meeting new people and not understanding someone, or how they function.”

The height of experimentation comes in the form of nine minute track Seagull Attack. Switches of pace, vocal styles and instruments makes for an adventurous progression, exploiting a range of sounds – with stringed instruments taking a high role, and at points sharing similarities with ex-Leeds band Grammatics with their orchestral indie rock sounds.

White Night Stand is an impressive record and an extreme development on earlier sounds. Underground Railroad have transferred their musical style from 90s sounding indie rock to forward-thinking experimental rock music. A powerful and successful return.

Underground Railroad – Russian Doll

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