Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep: Vessels : Self-Tilted Ep (Self-Released)

Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Vessels : Self-Tilted Ep (Self-Released)

Vessels are a Leeds based quartet that have been championed by both Steve Lamacq and Huw Stephens from BBC Radio 1. Having formed from the ashes of A Day Left, this self-released ep combines some powerful instrumental music, post-hardcore structures and a touch of electronica throughout its five tracks. Previous reviews, on the band's website, state this young band can switch effortlessly "from quiet ambience to blasting heavy riffage". With a seperate 7" release due out on Cuckundoo Records soon and an imminent tour of the British Isles, this is as good a time as any to review this band.

The self-financed ep, kicks off with "The Beast", a powerful track that starts with a quirky bassline that plays in tandem with the guitars, it recalls one of the UK's most under-rated bands, the sadly defunct Cable. As the track progresses it veers into post-hardcore territory, not unlike a Do Make Say Think style jam, before a furious and pounding burst of distorted energy around the 2.30 mark finishes things off. A very promising start.

Those post-hardcore rythmns resurface , this time with some very nice Helmet-esque guitar work, on "Take It Outside". The most notable aspects of this track, is the powerhouse drumming that really drives this song along, while the chorus reminds me of another defunct, but great UK band, Spy Versus Spy.

"Armed To The Teeth" starts with dreamy sounding keyboards, showing this band can handle the epic angle as well as furious guitar workouts. Although not particularly ground-breaking, it again serves to show just how talented this band are. Think of a harder edged Epic45 track and you will be getting a fair idea what it sounds like.

I am not sure how the original of "Set Fires" sounds, but the band have included a remix version here as the ep's fourth track. It is a glorious slice of Helios-style electronica. Not only does it bring a nice surprise, after the guitar dynamics of the previous three tracks, it is also delivered in an expert manner. Looping synths and scattered rythmns help to create a rather serene atmosphere.

5th track, "Look At That Cloud!" can only be described as jaw-dropping. In fact, if I was to be experiencing this live I reckon I would be scrapping my mouth up from the venue's floor. If we are talking post-rock here, this is everything a post-rock track should be. It changes tact slightly, kicking off with a sinister sounding collage of keyboards, wahses of reverbed and delayed guitars and softly, crashing cymbals. But it is the absolutely thunderous volley of post-rock guitars around the 2 minute mark that catapult this track into post-rock heaven. Having been into post-rock for more than 10 years now, this track is as good as anything I have heard.

However, that is just the half of "Look At That Cloud!", because around the 5 minute mark, the track erupts like a volcano into a furious slab of euphoric rock. It is utterly spellbinding stuff and demands to be listened to at maximum volume.

Ending the ep with "Happy Accident", Vessels explore a more electronic vibe, with music along the same lines as Keser's post-rock/electronica style. It provides a nice closer for the ep and shows Vessels to be just as adept at programming as they are with those guitar dynamics.

At only 5 tracks and with the band able to plough through several genres, the "Vessels ep" can be a bit over-whelming in places. That is not neccesarily a criticism because for the most part it is all done within the band's template. What this ep shows is, Vessels are an extremely talented bunch, evident in the post-hardcore power of "The Beast", the electronica-laced "Set Fires" remix and, of course, the stand-out track "Look At That Cloud!". Once they settle into a true rythmn and continue to progress, nothing will stop this band!.

Rating = 82%

A 7" release is due out on Cuckundoo near the star of 2007, while the band will be touring the UK in Ferbruary, catch them before they explode.

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At 26 January, 2007, Blogger Woolford said...

Wonderful band.

At 26 January, 2007, Blogger Woolford said...

This comment has been removed by the author.


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