“Lock The Doors” starts on a kind of alt-country bluegrass vibe but with a tinge of Nick Cave melodrama. It develops into a quite muscular sort of disco-folk groove (I couldn’t have imagined such a thing either until I heard this) with minor chords and spookiness much more of a concern than chewing straw and putting your finger in your ear. It climaxes somewhere in the territory of indie rock but with a particularly well paced and (dammit, I wasn’t going to use this word) haunting fiddle and piano. This is a great song and it has you nodding your head from about half way through until its adroit conclusion.
“On A Pin” starts intriguingly with a tightly wound drum and bass line (not drum’n’bass) with delicate accompanying banjo, piano and fiddle parts, but rather than utilize the male vocalist who does a perfectly reasonable job on “Lock The Doors”, they have handed lead vocals to a lady. Vocals are where a lot of bands live or die for me, and while I had no particular objection to the male singer, the female singers voice is a little earthy, a little too trad-folk for me. When you pair this with the fact that the intro to “On A Pin” suddenly seems to devolve into a fairly bog standard bit of pub rock/folk, I suddenly found myself in the position of loving and hating the band at the same time. They do rescue this song at the end when it becomes a fairly lovely piece of instrumental folk rock and I even began to warm to her vocals on the acapella section.
In conclusion, I would definitely advise people to listen to this band. I think they will divide opinion, but if someone like me who feels nauseous at the mention of alt-folk can actively enjoy this finely named band then there’s definitely something for everyone. Make up your own mind by listening :
Double A-side single On A Pin / Lock the Doors is available via Sotones Records on May 17th 2010