Vital Idles released a fine album in last years Left Hand. Compared to Life Without Buildings ad nauseam (although we understand why), and misunderstood by some, they offer much more than that. This four track ep sees Vital Idles continue along the same themes as on Left Hand but they have upped their game.
Opening track Break A would have fit comfortably on the aforementioned album and would have served as a highlight on there. The track revolves around an infectious Alex James style bass line and straight 4/4 drums, the guitar stabs, scrapes and wonky hooks offering the main source of instrumental variation.
Jessica Higgins’ vocals are fantastic. She has honed her style, with well placed yelps adding great character.
Seconds has an almost slacker edge to it, dropping the pace a notch, introducing some wonderful slide guitar touches half way through. It’s Pavement-esque, but again, the vocals set this apart. Like those of Stephen Malkmus the lyrics throughout are descriptive of something, but require thought to understand.
Rustle Rustle kicks things up a notch, a punky three note progression and a spiky almost guitar solo played with venom. Higgins’ repeated yelps almost serving as a chorus. Careful Extracts, the final track, carries on the punk momentum whilst also offering the most musical variation. It begins frantically with three distinct chord patterns before shifting pace after 50 seconds and settling on a darker progression which builds to a climax and sharp ending. This is perhaps the most adventurous track of the four.
EPs don’t usually feel this, well, vital. This will, no doubt, be one of the best EPs released in 2019.
You may enjoy this if you like: Dry Cleaning, Pavement, Life Without Buildings, The Raincoats