Sunday, 13 February 2011

Always the Quiet Ones
Self-Released (out now)
Rating: 4/5
Alright, so I'm going to be clear here: if you download this record, you'll get a bonus track ('Beautiful Surrender'), but I'm going to work on the basis that you're wanting to know about the three-track CD EP. A further bonus in the form of a live video of 'Freak Show' is also present in the package, but I'm not going to review that because it will apparently be the band's next single, so watch this space. 

Opening with 'Sleeping With Celebrity', drums sweep and roll while Oceansize-style tremolo picking and delay soar overhead; before long, riffs coalesce and the band are off, trading licks as the rhythm section carries all before it. This track is probably most like a mish-mash of Smashing Pumpkins and Soundgarden, with definite Jimmy Chamberlin vibes in the drumming (no bad thing). 

Track two, 'Hollow' is very much like the most recent Butterfly Effect album, and the vocals really do come to the fore in the fucking huge chorus. There isn't as insane a solo as in the previous track (a demented but brief passage of shred uncoiling from the speakers), but in general the song is better structured and the two guitars used to greater effect. There's even a cracking little acoustic breakdown that serves to firmly mark this as the centrepiece of the set, both melodically and in terms of sheer ambition. 

Finally, there's 'The Rats!', which at about half the length of the other two tracks and a set of well-structured vocal harmonies and counters is probably the most 'single-like' of the set, although if I'm honest I found the guitars a little less interesting than on the other cuts. 

All in all it's a brilliant little EP that's hopefully a sign of great things to come. On the evidence of this, I can't see ATQO being simply confined to Liverpool for too much longer. Fucking awesome. 

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