For those of you familiar with their first EP will be pleased to know that Mender (available to stream for free or download for €4 from their Bandcamp page) is much of the same. Those of you not familiar should be equally impressed by these Dublin indie-rockers.
They flirt with danger having most of their songs extending to and beyond five minutes, but fill them with enough content that they rarely seem to drag. Their expansive sound, too, is impressive given they are still relatively nascent.
Opener ‘Elephants and Time’ sets the Mender off to a great start. It opens like a slightly more electronic Arcade Fire with the drums starting off powerfully before the echoed vocals are introduced all held together with continuing synths. The song builds with each verse only falls back to a gentler chorus. Towards the end of the song there is a choral refrain before its thirty second outro.
Second track ‘Guatemala’ is perhaps the low point of the album. It starts of excellently, sounding slightly funkier than the opener, but the slower chorus plan doesn’t function as well as before. Here, it only serves to detract from the verses. The instrumental outro, too, is overlong at nearly a minute and a half.
‘White Horses’ is next up at a (relatively) brief three and a half minutes. This song has an eerie feel with Robert Ardiff’s vocals echoed by keyboardist Louise Gaffney. Swampy guitars are replaced by those of the acoustic variety before synths and samples kick in. The overall effect is somewhat akin to Radiohead’s ‘Climbing Up the Walls’ only with clearer vocals.
Epic closer ‘Someone’s House’ starts off with a Fleet Foxes-like acoustic chorus before the drums kick in after the first minute. It then breaks into a rather funky beat carries the song well through its seven minutes and numerous changes. The outro is here is, again, rather long but suits the song better than it does on ‘Guatemala’.
Overall this is a very accomplished EP and, hopefully, points to great things for Come On Live Long. This, together with their debut EP, should form the base for an impressive album. For now, standing alone, it stands solidly.