"Oxford has always been a reliable source for invigorating bands across a series of genres, and ArtClassSink are no exception with their four track EP, ILLA. Founded from a recurring dream, that vocalist Joe Biggs had, about an artist trying to produce a masterpiece, who then finds the wash of colours in their sink, is greater than the actual work itself. An alluring tale in itself, even without ArtClassSink’s melodic, alt rock to provide a hazey whirl, of a shoegazed, pop tone vortex."
"Four piece Oxford band ArtClassSink released their début EP, entitled “ILLA”, in December 2013, via NewLevel Recordings. For a first release, this is a truly exceptional EP. It’s strong, accomplished and ready for the delicate ears of the judgemental, fussy masses. ArtClassSink hit the spot with dark, introspective lyrics, atmospheric, haunting echoes of music, and an artistic take on an interesting variety of genres."
"This record is best listened to over a bottle of red wine and about half a joint. It is old-school shoegaze and reeks of Robert Smith, Johnny Marr and Mat Devine in the best ways possible. These tracks are creepy, dark and full of day-to-day miseries. This is not a “feel-good” record but that’s not a bad thing. It has slinky guitar riffs, haunting vocals and the perfect combination of echo effects and reverb. In every song, ArtClassSink has followed its heart. It’s not necessarily beautiful in the popular sense. This a beauty from the other side. This is not risk-taking but being true to oneself and their art. Although not totally unique, ILLA does have its own personality. It’s not a knock-off of The Cure or Kill Hannah and it’s also something that hasn’t been around for a few years so it’s also something that hasn’t been around for a few years so it’s refreshing to revisit it"
"Shoegaze is a genre which has never interested me. In fact, at times I’ve even been outright insulting towards it. ArtClassSink openly define themselves as alternative/shoegaze, and before reviewing this EP, I was filled with more than a little trepidation. The Oxford quartet have a fairly impressive track record so far, playing alongside such names as We Are Augustines, This Town Needs Guns, and headlining London’s “The Garage”, which it must be said is no mean feat. Taking influence from such bands as Foals, Joy Division and The XX, ArtClassSink are indie, but dark, and full of real emotion. It might be safe to say I may have to re-evaluate my opinion of shoegaze."
"Those lead vocals hit you qwithth quite a force. Coming in with those kind of alternative vocals that would appear to be sung by a guy who couldn’t care less whether you like it or not, which is perfect as those sort of notes are perfect here. His voice rises through as a sweet compliment to the riff led tracks we have here, and I’m a particularly big fan of Cry for Help"
" ILLA is four tracks that conjure up this cavernous sound effortlessly, with the relentless shimmering riffs of Time To Go (Before The Rivalry) sparking up an indie likeness to a darker Libertines whilst She builds up in a Joy Division-esque bleakness and explodes into a thunder of crashing drums and fuzz drenched guitars setting the tone of simple brilliance. On the back of this, they’ve had gigs among the impressive likes of Temples, SKATERS, Superfood and We Are Augustines aswell as headline shows around the land in places including The, ever loved, Garage in London and look set to continue storming the country accross the new year."
" the opening introduction of ‘She’ finds the band in a distinctly dark and menacing mood, but this soon lightened up by the Smiths-influenced ‘Time to Go’. However, there’s something more going on with complex intricacies that recalls more experimental bands like TTNG. With real venom, Joe repeatedly spits out the words ‘I hope to see you again’ at the start of ‘Cry for Help’ and you can feel his isolation as the song takes you into a dark and desolate place. The centrepiece of the EP, it brought to mind The Cooper Temple Clause’s epic first-album closer ‘Murder Song’, and anything that can do this is alright by us. The final track on the EP, ‘Someone to Try For’ finds the group at their most accessible, with the melodic riffs and hooks racking up inside your brain almost instantly. The EP effortlessly showcases the band’s different influences and it’s widely apparent this class isn’t full of drop-outs."
"Oxford quartet ArtClassSink are the shimmering point at which post punk and shoegazing meet."
"With Illa, the band have expanded on a sound that was already head and shoulders above most of their contemporaries. A fusion of different ideas and aesthetics, the EP brings that many different aspects of Art Class Sink to the fore, it's difficult to even label it. Relaxed and laid back indie-pop is nestled in side by side with moodier tracks that are, in turn, fitted in perfectly next to shoegaze elements in a combination that one wouldn't think would work. It never feels erratic or disjointed though, and that's the beauty of it, the band manage to create a huge sense of space and of openness, whilst never lacking the drive nor energy to keep things interesting, definitely a band to watch out for as we go into 2014 and beyond"
"Oxford act ArtClassSink recently released their latest EP ILLA. The 4-track collection of alternative rock and moody, intricate shoegaze is the kind of darkness you can’t help but dance to. From the slinky, psychedelics of “Cry for Help” to the catchy, biting “Someone To Try For”, ILLA is a formidable, albeit short set of jams. We’ll be waiting to hear what’s next."
““ILLA” just dropped a short while ago, so if you haven’t heard it yet, what are you waiting for? It serves as a great introduction to the band, and it makes me tremendously hopeful for a full-length in the future. Just imagine how many twists and turns we could encounter in 40 minutes with ArtClassSink."”
“ILLA isn’t your average mopey alternative rock export; there are moments of positive brilliance that play upon elements of soul, classic britpop and even acoustic arrangement. This is definitely a band to keep tabs on;”
“The EP ILLA contains four somewhat eclectic tracks that recall such bands as The Cure, The Cult and a slightly less smug Coldplay.”
“ILLA has the whole Bunnymen/moody echo thang going on, mixed up with a bit of shoegaze-esque blurry squall, and that means that this is so on it right now. It’s pleasingly brief – four tracks clocking in at well under fifteen minutes – and that keeps things in focus and free of filler.”
"It’s impassioned and poignant songs that’ll jerk both your heart and your hips. It doesn’t require gimmicks and obtuse lyrics, it’s straight from the soul and slung across some of the more indie-sagacious stream of solemn, slick, and sensational sounds."
“'ArtClassSink - Take Note - No Doubt ArtClassSink will soon be a regular staple both on local gig line ups and beyond'”
"The last single from Oxford band ArtClassSink was the splendid 'Time To Go (before the rivalry)' which mixed together some of our favourite sounds including shoegaze, psych and guitar-pop. New one 'Face The Day' is closer to traditional guitar-pop than before but is possibly a better song. It proves without doubt that these guys have an ear for a tune anyway. We eagerly await more"
"Along with their other tracks, ArtClassSink have managed to create a good body of songs that most bands would be happy with. With their atmospheric waves luring in each of their songs, it’s hard not to take notice of them and appreciate, it’s most definitely a perfect build up to their debut EP, which I’ll be looking out for"
"Oxford's ArtClassSink are a band who have been on my radar for a good couple of months and unfortunately I've never had a chance to cover them before now. Their music harbours a melancholic streak that underpins their overall aesthetic without ever becoming overbearing or claustrophobic; there are always moments of uplifting and unexpected melody around the corner which make listening to each and every song a joy. The more morose elements are evocative of bands such as Editors or White Lies while never losing their own distinctive sound. Expect big things"
"Oxford’s ArtClassSink have created a truly great single on “Time To Go” (Before the Rivalry). A moody but infectious piece of indie-rock that has hints of shoegaze, but never loses any energy throughout. A gorgeous backing melody is used on the hook that is just wonderful and something that deserves to be listened to time and time again"
"The Oxford Power-pop band is redefining Alternative music and applies a more Post feel utilizing interesting pedals while maintaining the crunch and grunge of their idols. If what you are looking for is a great easy listening band with soul and grace, you have found the right place"
"There's a fulfilling sense to 'ArtClassSink'. Their sound is thick and powerful, but they don't over-do this. The slight utilization of shoe-gaze qualities are easily picked up on against the post-punk grittiness, creating a mixture of your favourite bands. It's delightfully flowing, but the band exert moments of edginess and sharpness"
“The colorfully named ArtClassSink is a DIY guitar pop/rock quartet from Oxford. I always say that “I’ll listen to anything once,” but when an act comes from this particular hotbed in the English Midlands, I’m almost sure that I’ll play it many more times after that. Wild Swim, Spring Offensive, Flights of Helios and Kill Murray are some of our current Oxford favorites; Radiohead, Foals, Chad Valley, and TEED are other older standbys”
"A promising first piece of the Oxford quartet, posted on their Bandcamp .. before ep"
"An Oxford quartet who just concocted a first-rate balance of the shoegaze, psychedelic, and post-punk genres. ArtClassSink another burgeoning alternative band out of the bohemian Oxford art scene"
“ArtClassSink have a strange name, I’ll give you. Not sure I’ve seen one quite like it, to be honest, but the music is definitely great. It’s got a bit of an arena feel and most certainly a playlist friendly vibe. “Time To Go (Before The Rivalry)” is probably the catchiest track in this week’s Red Lights.”
“ArtClassSink hail from Oxford and are very much part of the scene there, with this track being recorded at studios previously used by Trophy Wife and Foals. 'Time To Go (before the rivalry)' does contain elements of psychedelia, but is equal parts shoegaze and guitar-pop too.”
“A band that recently came onto my radar from Oxford, which will inevitably, relevantly and justifiably draw comparisons to Foals. A tune full of melody, harmony and energy that you can’t help but get caught up in”
“Oxford's ArtClassSink promise shimmering post-punk that errs on the side of The Smiths”
“ArtClassSink utilised the cavernous setting to conjure a distinctly foreboding sound. The riffs, especially, are like evacuation alarms before a hurricane makes landfall, wailing above Joe Biggs voice and the drum beats richocheting off the walls”
“ACS- Atmospheric alt rock with a touch of psychedelia. The Cure melancholy meets Dinosaur Jr's shoegazing. Some of their intros bring an indier version of Sleep (Deftones' sideproject) to mind”
“I’m a huge fan of shoegazing, I think it’s one of the best things to come out of the 90′s, and it’s sweet to hear some modern-day shoegazing influenced rock (it keeps me satisfied that it still hasn’t quite died out). The band is incredibly tight on this single and have obviously matured a lot”
“Oxford Alternative Pop band! This 90′s take on post rock has a more funky underlining tone. The drum and bass feel really works while the rest of the band is on cruise control. Every time I think alternative is dead, a great band with epic taste sneaks up from behind and puts a smile on my face.”
“As a band they have that winning combination of being accessible whilst still having piles of credibility and musicality too!”
“Hailing from the same town as Radiohead and Foals, ArtClassSink’s single is certainly like something both of those bands would produce, but with their own mark on it. It wouldn’t surprise me if these guys ended up on the new music stage at a festival like Reading and Leeds this summer. But I guess for now, we will have to wait and see.”
“Listening to their debut single, 'Time to Go (Before the Rivalry)' I found it to be a track that musically goes exactly where you want it to go. The atmospheric opening, followed by a skip-beat dropping in the drums and a heavier drive. You find yourself hoping that they bring the atmosphere back and they do”