The Hang of Music – COURTESY DOUBLE EP REVIEW NO JUTSU!
I feel I need to apologise.
It’s been three days since I wrote a new post. I know, it’s terrible. I could waffle on about a number of excuses (friends visiting, gigs to go to, train journeys to make, certain war-themed hat simulators that shall remain nameless), but these are incidental.
I’m sorry. And by way of an apology, I offer you this.
On Saturday, I went to the gig I mentioned before. (Check the brackets!*) It was the EP launch for a band I’d not heard of, called Four spirits. I went with the intention of enjoying the company of my good friend Ale (a person, not a drink), and having a bottle of beer; I also turned up because I knew one of the bands, The Moonbears, was good. Turns out, the rest of the bands were too.
After the gig, I’d enjoyed myself so much that I couldn’t resist buying a couple of EPs (well, an EP, and *legally* downloading the other from their website.) And partly because I like the EPs, and partly because if I have a blog, I intend to use it to support the bands who make such nice EPs, this is for you; a Super Special Discount Double EP Review! Aren’t I nice?
Flygone, first off, I have to say were very musically talented. I was struck even at the time by this. In particular, I thought the bassist was awesome. I was also struck by the strength of the singer’s voice. I think just from watching them, I was convinced that I wanted to get some of their music and listen again.
Still holds up pretty well, I have to say. I mean, the bass itself was toned down and marginalised, which often happens when recording songs, but it wasn’t too bad. And the songs themselves are clean, well made and well performed. I particularly liked the opening track, “Not Enough”; it reminds me a bit of Dream Theater, and as I say that, it feels to me that I can’t go a single post without mentioning prog rock.
The lyrics. The lyrics make me think that the songwriter was painfully aware that there should be lyrics, but couldn’t think of anything, so they just wrote words that sounded meaningful. While I like songs that actually have a point and meaning, though, I’m not so bothered; I was, most songs ever would have to be discounted out of hand. My favourite example that springs to mind is “20 Years Too Late”, by Edwyn Collins.
Anyway, I like it. There’s not much more I can say, really (especially what with only 22 minutes of music). I’d prefer to see them live again, as it does seem that the EP is missing something. Some spark or quirk. BUT nonetheless, there are good songs on it and played well. Give it a listen for yourself
And now, the Headline act, Four Spirits.
Now, this is going to be even harder for me to write as an EP review, and not as a gig review, as the EP itself only had three songs on it. I’m annoyed, partly because of the difficulty that creates for me, differentiating between what’s relevant (the songs as recorded) and what’s not (the much more numerous songs I heard live).
Actually, I’m very pleased, because the third track on the EP, “Sometimes”, was the first track they played live that made me go “OK, this is great”. This makes my job easier, because it means I can say that, for both the track live and the track on disc, it is a Good Song. Pace; check. Rhythm and tempo changes; check. Changing to an acoustic guitar; check. I am therefore pleased
The lead singer had actually been hanging around all night, and introduced a few of the bands. I’d assumed he was one of the front of house staff, but no. At any rate, his confidence on stage showed and… Damnit, the EP, not the gig!
One thing I will say: the band themselves were a part of a trend that I’ve noticed recently in the Coventry music scene (because, as you all know, I’m well attuned to the musical zeitgeist of a city which is usually 200 miles away). Probably in a lot of other cities too, but there’s a whole slew of good bands in Cov (“Charles Dexter Ward & The Imagineers” and “The Shackletons”, to name a few) who sound like they’ve been nicking their Dad’s old record collection, and listening to a load of bands from the early 70s. Not that this is by any stretch bad. It’s just interesting how retro things are becoming.
Anyway, if you get a chance to see Four Spirits, Moonbears, Flygone… Do so. Oh wait, you can; at the Godiva Festival this weekend, in fact. If they sold tickets, I’d have mine already. As it is, I’m now only thinking about the best ways to sneak in alcohol!
Oh, and by the way; yes, the Moonbears were good also. They just don’t have anything for me to review 😦
* Wait, if you can’t read brackets, then how did you get redirected down he… Oh, never mind. Enjoy your life of not being able to use functions.
EDIT – For those who are interested, the songs on each EP are as follows.
- Sin of the City
- Soul Seeker
One can certainly see the sibilance; surely these sobriquets were selected for their significant sounding starts. Score!
- Not Enough
- Close to the Water
- Time Ago
- Not The Law
- I’m Still Waiting
- What To Do
All of these are availible online, either on myspace or in dowload format. DO IT!