You’re kidding me on! These four tracks weren’t really recorded and mixed in an old abandoned school in Toxteth and an ancient church in Walton, both Liverpool?!
Apparently so – but from the resultant sounds I was thinking more along the lines of a studio in the Mojave desert of California. Or perhaps further north, in the region of Toronto; or east – in Brooklyn, New York perhaps?
Sorry – I don’t mean to be disparaging of Merseyside, it’s just that these four tracks on the new EP from (yes, Liverpool based trio) ALL WE ARE remind me so much in parts of early Sleepy Sun, Nordic Nomadic and the likes of Beach Fossils (and several others) respectively.
Which means I like it!
‘We Hunt’ falls neatly into two distinct halves, for me. Opening with ‘Trainspotting,’ the EP sets off in a distinctly warm, yet slightly dark and atmospheric mood. Softly caressed drums back up a pulsing bass, while the dual male / female harmonised vocals seem to echo the (now no longer) Bret / Rachel interactions of Sleepy Sun. The beat is enhanced by distant handclaps that eventually have their own ‘moment’ when the song breaks down towards the end. It’s gentle psych music, frilled with psychedelic edges.
‘Cardhouse’ is the ‘lead’ single of the four tracks. Starting out quietly with muted rolling floor-toms and nicely harmonised vocals, it transfers into a chorus where the drums revert to a more regimented snare style, and the vocals go into an Arcade Fire type of ‘Whoa whoa’ anthemic mode.
‘Red Sky’ heralds in what I see as the second ‘half’ of the EP. (Of course, arithmetically it does just that, I know.) But this is where it slightly loses me – temporarily. If I can just mention that the Press release states that this is a ‘delicate, female led alternative to Radiohead’s ‘There There,’ with a touch of Norway’s Ane Brun’ then maybe that will elicit more positive response from some than it does with me! It’s nice and pleasant – just not my thing.
Final track ‘Satellite’ again opens quietly, but for me it somehow carries a bit more depth than the previous song. In general, it’s more atmospheric I think, with the final minute or so a reverb drenched ‘quiet noise’ of Sigur Ros inspired psycho-space guitar.
Overall, this is an excellent release from a band that could quite easily compete with the likes of my favourites mentioned in the third paragraph.
(Released through Payper Tiger Records on 28th April 2012)