Sunday, 21 March 2010

Tall Ships – EP [Big Scary Monster]

Cheeky debut four track EP from brand new Big Scary Monster acquisition Tall Ships. The three man band hail from Falmouth via Brighton and make a playful indie sound. Lodged somewhere between the emotional electronics of I Was A Cub Scout, the tender technical guitar work of This Town Needs Guns and a sprinkling of post-rock but with a woozy joyous energy to them that’s all their own.

The EP opens with a curve ball, ‘Books’ which opens innocent enough with gentle melancholic yet bright synths before dropping into some seriously unexpected trance riffing before twisting into a more conventional indie pop verse before delving back into the trance. This all somehow works perfectly and comes off as being pretty uplifting. ‘Words Are Pegs Upon Which We Hang’ crackles into life and a sample you’d maybe expect DJ Shadow use ushers in some clean, tappy guitar melodies and a brass section. It all just comes together nicely and rolls out like a small scale indie version of M83, kind of...

The Africa-aping guitar rhythms of ‘Beanieadodger’ come out sounding like shiny indie pop nuggets, like a freaky re-interpretation of Vampire Weekend’s ‘A Punk’ but it deviates pretty quickly into a rush of energetic surges of post-rock instrumental, not dissimilar to something I’d imagine Errors could pull off, if not a little less electronic. The closer ‘Vessels’ is the closest Tall Ships come to a sea shanty, with group singing and off-centre sea-sick melodies but with an epic sense of post-rock sea-scpaes, folk-like melodies and uplifting melancholy.

At a time when I’m finding less and less indie to adore Tall Ships have come out of nowhere and peaked my interest. Their sound is playful without being annoying or kooky, there is a underlying hopeful yet subdued atmosphere to it all and they seem at home in their own off-kilter world, truly refreshing.


David said...

glad you're digging these, they are completely immense live, just thought I'd let you know my address has changed for Separated By Motorways and is now, thanks.

James said...

Nice one David. I'll have to catch them live next time they're around my way. I've updated the link with your new address nice one. The site is looking good.

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