In my decidedly working class upbringing clever people were overly revered. Anyone who read a lot was something of an academic demi-god to my lot. My Mum used to clean for an old WW1/2 army Captain who had books to the ‘top of the ceiling’ and was apparently ‘extremely well read’. Similarly my Dad had the same boss for several decades who he laughed at for being too posh, but still adored because he too ‘was extremely well read’. Reading was just really impressive to our sort and gave you the highest of social credence.
This EP (a swift follow up to the equally superb 378 Vol 1, reviewed here) gives me that feeling as it is plain to see that this band, despite their tender years, are ‘extremely well listened’, with all of these 5 tracks visiting a different jangle-pop inference.
The darker dank jangling atmospherics of indie rock bands such as DIIV or RVG is the next influence to be visited. All chunky bass lines mixed with lucid threads of jangled riffs, this track touches at the points where post-punk stopped and the jangle-pop movement started in the mid to late 1980’s. In an EP that visits so many fringe jangle-pop nuanced musical strata, this type of track is absolutely essential to this release in terms of completeness.
The EP finishes with a visit to two more modern jangle-pop citations. The stand out track of the release, Harold In Conversation see below), hoists itself into brilliance with the juxtaposition of Holy Tunics style uptempo jangled riffs (although any number of Brooklyn bands could be the reference) to a manic almost The Cure screeched vocals. Vocally it is extremely different to anything they have ever done before, but somehow the newly found lack of vocal control is tailored to ‘weird perfection’.
The closing track is all things Nap Eyes. Soft wistful vocals delivering soft wistful melancholy whilst the most beautiful jangled chords are woven into the fabric. Somehow this track is almost expected at the end of a hitherto frenetic release and the sense of down tempo undoubtedly completes a journey of much of their favourite music.
I have been unabashed and unashamed in my total adoration of this band for a couple of years now and a) there is nothing in this release to change that stance and b) I will keep on about them until you all listen !