Track one, Sforza (feat. Del Chaney and Críofan), is a moody opener that musically brings to mind Autolux, Turnstile Blues specifically. And, were it accompanied by some form of cinematography, it would go nicely with night shots of warehouses, skyscrapers, and docklands. It’s an accomplished track and not without its charm with some intriguing vocals and nicely sampled/looped drums. It doesn’t blow you away, but it’s solid and its ‘vibe’ sits nicely with a cold January afternoon.
Following on, In Mercury has a jangly, old-school western guitar leading the way with a rumbling, scorned bassline accompanying it. Vocally, it’s not a million miles from Placebo but it would find a better match in vocals of Declan O’ Shea (Cyclefly, MAKO). It lacks his dynamic range, though, and comes off a bit too nasal; pushing it a bit too hard. The track mixes the aforementioned guitar and basslines with clippy electronic drums and occasional use of acoustic guitar. An interesting effort but, on the whole, it’s not as tight as it could be, and the acoustic guitar in particular wanes from the tempo of the song a good deal.
Third on the EP is Deuce – a track that highlights the fact that the band are far more rock orientated than they originally appear. This track could have been a B-side from any major US rock band of the late-‘90s. In contrast to Sforza, the drums here are quite obviously live and unfortunately this element lets the track down. Production-wise, both Sforza and In Mercury and nice, clear, and sharp; Deuce lacks a lot of the same punch. The track comes off sounding more like a demo than a full-blown release.
Cowardice takes another lead out of the ‘90s rock book but it melds far easier than some of the previous tracks and it ends up sounding much more natural. The bassline (and vocals in fact) tend to mix in some heavy hitting British artists such as Ian Brown and Massive Attack. But again, the production falters. Lose Yourself is much of the same; good vocals, some nice ideas, and some great ‘vibes’, but the guitar sounds faintly out of tune and the looped drums sound far more like pre-programmed ‘Drum Loop 1’ than any of the previous tracks did.
‘Liminal’ is so close, and yet so far away. Don’t look to it to set your world on fire, but its one not to be missed. And once they get their production sorted out, they could have a huge sound. Then people would sit up and take notice.