H&H // AQUARELLE EP – VINYL STAIRCASE

Originally posted on Hooting & Howling

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With several releases to their name now, Vinyl Staircase have somewhat become hometown heroes to anyone within a touching reach of the quaintness of Mole Valley, and by roughly 5 years into their output of unique sounds and chaotic live shows all across the south east, ‘Aquarelle’ EP sees the four piece hit firmly into their stride.

Though still a relatively young outfit – not one of them has actually hit adulthood yet, with the release of their eponymous EP last year it seemed like the band had hit their prime with a collection of polished and perfected tracks taking on heavy sounds of math rock, indie and psychedelia, however roughly 20 seconds into their lead single ‘Into The Aquarelle’ it becomes clear that the last effort was simply only the start of things.

The track is an instant shot of the band’s more prominent psychedelic direction, providing Temples-esque guitar lines and clean cut harmonies from Jake and Luke Andrews (guitar/vocals and drums/vocals respectively) whilst still boasting the aggression of past offerings within the dark chorus growls of ‘I don’t know if you will be there with me/when I’m dead and gone’ from Mike Thorpe (guitar/vocals) and thundering bass from Angus Moore.

Continuing the dream state with a near six minutes of delay swarmed guitars and an arrangement lost in reverb,‘Sleep’ follows. With a sombre air of minimalism that builds into refrains of piercing riffs, the sound lies somewhere between the calm of Tame Impala and the snarling solos of Led Zeppelin – a combination that is hard to fault.

With a title of sly brilliance, ‘Avant Garden’ comes next and unsurprisingly too takes a trip down the psych path. As an effortless contrast of the band’s old and new, verses of spinning ambience haunted by yet more of Thorpe’s gravelly tones are interjected by complementary chorus blasts of math-rock, driven by Andrews twin chants carrying seamless harmonies, making for an undoubtedly standout point of the EP.

Ending in more familiar territory lying between upbeat indie and math references, closer ‘Float Away’ is a bass intiated gem carrying fuzzed out guitars, rapturous drums and anguish fuelled tones of Andrews’ distinct vocals, all of which make it the token ‘dance-along’ of the EP and no doubt likely to be a favourite when taken to the stages.

With a now seemingly extensive back catalog and ‘Aquarelle’ EP only adding to their multi genre spanning repetoire, the quartet appear more confident in their sounds now than ever before, and this makes them only seem set for greater things in the future.

 

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