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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"Time Relentless EP", pop feast with The Hermit Crabs

Time Relentless EP
Each time there's an email from Matinée Recordings reaching my inbox I smile. I assume, and it's almost infallible, their music proposal is going to be great. But this time the announcement was the long awaited comeback from beloved Glaswegian band The Hermit Crabs, so I yelled (I was at work at the office, luckily quite alone, as my colleagues are still on holidays). A yelling of happiness an excitement, that is.

It had been a long time indeed, although Melanie Whittle offered a dose of her talents thanks to Baffin Island, joining forces with members of another favourite band on this site, The Very Most. But three years had passed since the glorious "Correspondence Course EP" without new songs from The Hermits, so there were questions about how the band will sound after these hiatus.

But they quickly showed there was no reason to panic. This band has always showed their cards from the very beginning, without chances for "second thoughts". With them, beauty comes straightforwardly to the ears of the listener. And their new work is no different. "On the Spectrum" is a stunning opener, a strong statement saying the world "we are back", with a mesmerizing GUITAR work (written on capital letters because they deserve it, it's that big) and a killer chorus. Mel might be talking about the blues, but the feeling the song produces are the very opposite. A jangle-pop feast

"Time Relentless" slows the tempo with the band's trademark orchestrations and the addition of subtle keyboards. The visual lyrics are taken from a poem, suiting the contemplative mood of the piece. All seems to flow towards the wonderful chorus were Mel's adorable voice shines, acquiring an epic nuance while guitars arise in the mix, providing the tune a fantastic climax.

"Stop This Now" is a much more joyous affair in terms of melody, upbeat and contagious. Drums splashes and guitars flourishes, sparking the tune. After the instrumental section, vocal harmonies appear and you are expecting a longer-than-life finale. But it ends abruptly, leaving you wonder for me. A perfect pop pill of two minutes!

And finally "So Blue" concludes the EP with a mid-tempo that recalls their previous releases and their similarities with Camera Obscura (will you return soon too, Tracyanne?). Fortunately, the instrumentation steps up, helping the song to grow and closing the release on a high note.

If you didn't know The Hermit Crabs (very soon we'll have a band's retrospective on the blog), this EP is a great introduction into their music. And for us, fans, is a wonderful return to form. Jangle-pop, twee-pop and indiepop lovers, we are in luck. Welcome back Hermits!

SCORE: 8/10

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