A conjoining of the twisting synths led sound of maverick electro manipulators Shy Child, with a stammering and a touch worried, post-mod vocal stance adopted by the likes of The Rakes, ‘Jostle’. Breton boldly chooses to kick off with a calypso-esque intro’. It matches the range and mystery of the Thievery Corporation, before the song settles into a mid-tempo groove for a bit. Then vocalist, Roman Rappak uses his versatile vocal range, to steer the track towards a heavier, almost post-rock direction. This is when the electro tinkering gets more and more robust, making for a moody and uncompromising ending.
‘Foam’, bears out the more down-tempo tendencies and, the distorted vocal leanings of this South London quintet. Twining beats help this ambient skirting effort find a meditative drive. It’s a welcome distraction, especially after the 80s gazing, electro-pop vocals suffer from the cheap chewing gum effect and lose flavour after about ninety seconds. This AA sided release is a plausible advert for the range, groove inducing ability and rhythm building on display in Breton’s debut album, ‘Other People’s Problems’.
Ryan Adams and Bruce Springsteen flavoured blues rock tainted vocals revolve around a fuzzed up electric guitar grind, ‘Juarez’. This dusky, homage paying to a Mexican town resting on the South Border of the USA, represents Brooklyn trio, We Are Augustine’s continuing commitment to showcase gems from debut album, ‘Rise Ye Sunken Ships’. Gritty, urban life is uncovered through oxymoronic panache:
“I got a drunk for a mother. Got a saint for a brother.”
The slower side to We Are Augustines, slides out through the spindling guitar pushed, ‘Saint Behind The Glass’. Billy McCarthy’s vocals lose their world weariness in favour of wispy wisdom. There’s enough here to suggest that stadiums can start to prepare for the impending arrival of this ranging, anthem wielding Brooklyn trio.
An atmospheric, tapping percussion led intro’ decorates the restrained, but demonstratively stammered vocals of Conor Adams, ‘Animals’. Roving keys adds instrumental adventure to contrast with the primal lyrics and overall vibe of the rest of the song.
Joker card synths keeps the predictability element at the right level, helping to give a notch of mystery to a track that would be limp if done acoustically. This feral Irish quartet does just enough to keep the intrigue ticking over ahead of their tour supporting Blood Red Shoes and, their first “authentic” album release.
Gospel undercoated, ambient backing is all that accompanies the longing, echoing and slower than normal cry of Barry Hyde to introduce the adventurous a cappella cover of The Sparks’, ‘The No.1 Song in Heaven’. There is a blasé tongue in cheek element that filters into the lofty vocal approach and playful “de dee didlleeee” backing. Whether it is mockery of Sunday morning praising or they are just giving way to their playful side? Whatever it is, it still leaves you questioning the merits in abandoning their signature guitar hook laden approach.
The a cappella fountain flowing, continues with laboured vocal exercising, introducing the echoing blues slanted, Black-Eyed Peas cover, ‘Meet Me Halfway’. Just when you expect the song to build up towards a thrusting indie/mod twisting energetic chorus; the pedestrian pace simply continues. Given that the approach that The Futureheads have taken to these covers, makes you focus on the lyrics. You can’t help but feel that they might have chosen songs with a little more lyrical depth?