Tag Archives: EP

Two Wounded Birds ‘Keep Dreaming Baby E.P’ – Review

28 Nov

A guitar group inspired by The Beach Boys, making fuzzy guitar pop? Ok, it’s been done a lot, especially this year, but it’s rarely done as confidently as this. ‘Keep Dreaming Baby’ is Two Wounded Birds debut e.p and it has safely secured their position as one of the most exciting young bands in Britain.

This is the first Physical release on Jacob Graham’s brilliant ‘Holiday Friends Records’ and the group’s sound isn’t a world away from that label’s other breakout acts The Drums, Young Friends and Surfer Blood. The title track and ‘Summer Dream’ are sunny, catchy, uptempo surf rock songs whilst the other three tunes on here are distinctly darker and more psychedelic in tone. If I have one complaint with the e.p it would be that it doesn’t really demonstrate their ability to do much else, all the songs are essentially following one of two templates and because of that they sound fairly similar. But this is a debut at the end of the day and there is more than enough time for them to experiment with ideas and styles.

‘Keeping Dreaming Baby’ is one of the best British debuts of the year and if they can impress supporting The Drums on their UK tour then Two Wounded Birds could find themselves being one of 2011’s most talked about groups.

8/10

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Animal Collective ‘Fall Be Kind’ – Review

2 Dec

Animal Collective are one of the most opinion dividing bands I can think of. There are loads of people who just love them, particularly bloggers and readers of Pitchfork Media it seems, and an equal number who loathe them. Their critical reputation has been not been matched by any other band this decade, except maybe The Strokes circa ‘Is This It’, Arctic Monkeys circa ‘Whatever People Say I am’, or Arcade Fire Circa ‘Funeral’. But unlike those bands with Animal Collective there seems to be a near equal amount of people who refuse to be drawn into the hype. Their sound is so out there and unique that there is no middle ground, you either love it or you don’t.

Which is why ‘Fall Be Kind’ feels a bit strange; I don’t have any particular leaning one way or the other. ‘Merriweather Post Pavillion’ was a (flawed) masterpiece and easily their most enjoyable album. It wasn’t free from filler but songs like ‘My Girls’ and ‘Bluish’ were instant classics that sounded like nothing else before. ‘Fall Be Kind’ is the follow-up ep and it takes Autumn as it’s inspiration and theme.

Where as ‘Merriweather’ was summery and bright, ‘Fall Be Kind’ is instantly darker and less tuneful. It’s also less focused on the vocals and more on the unusual sound patterns. Change is a given with Animal Collective and here it isn’t as radical as say the transition from ‘Sung Tongs’ to Feels’ but it is noticable. The front two tracks are the only ones to hold a candle to Meriweather, ‘Graze’ being the most likeable and melodic song on here and ‘What Would I Want? Sky’ making great use of a Grateful dead sample. Past here things get a bit more mediocre by the band’s standards and truth be told the songs feel like Merriwhether leftovers. In fairness most other bands would kill for AC’s leftovers but this doesn’t feel like the great stand alone ep we were promised. They say they wanted it to sound like Autumn but it certainly didn’t feel like it to me. Yes the songs are darker than say ‘In The Flowers’ but in my mind that doesn’t equate with ‘fall’.

Animal Collective have always worked outside the box, and ‘Fall Be Kind’ is the next step on their bold journey into the unknown. They are still experimenting and still pushing boundaries and even if the results here are not as strong as they may have been this is still a great record, and worth the cost for the first two tracks alone.

7.5/10


Best Coast

24 Sep

Best Coast are the fuzzy surf pop band from Bethany Consentino of Pocahaunted, and they are seriously fun. It’s hard to say much more about the group as seriously little information is available and their debut ep appears to be sold out 😦 . What I do know, is that they are a great little pop group with some seriously catchy melodies and a charming aesthetic.

Their myspace has some great songs including the delightful beach boys sounding ‘Over the Ocean’ and the lo fi joy of ‘Sun Was High’. Most of the songs have a relaxed summer vibe which makes it slightly annoying that I’ve only just found out about them. They have a 7 inch out now which may or may not be sold out (more confusion!) but here is the info and a music video.

http://artfag.us/bestcoast/