Wednesday, 27 February 2013

TERMITE – EP REVIEW

Termite - Growth

Termite – Growth

There are a lot of awful band names out there at the moment (I’m looking at you Fun and Everything Everything) but then I guess, much like fossil fuels, the world is running out of high quality band names. So colour me surprised to see Termite pop up in my inbox with what I think is a great band name. Simple, to the point and ever so slightly disturbing... also, completely at odds with their music.

Termite are a Huddersfield quartet that have grown from an original duo (by adding members, not some weird form of genetic splicing) to create so impressively expansive and explorative music. The bands latest three track offering, ‘Growth’, is a mixture of styles, influences and genres that gel wonderfully to create a cacophony of the familiar and the surprising. Take opening track ‘These Clowns’ as a prime example, opening up like a jangly, 90s Britpop anthem from Blur, Super Furry Animals or Octopus with lackadaisical vocals and sketchy guitars before descending in to the kind of riffs that dEUS, Metal Molly or Pavement would be proud of. Then, out of the distortion, comes the kind of optimistic folk that Fleet Foxes peddle to great effect. No one track on this EP comes in at under four minutes and the fact that they’ve allowed themselves this space to create which makes the music of Termites so wonderfully imaginative.

‘Memory Loss’ is a much more mellow track at first glance with a lazily picked guitar melody echoing out from the back of a smoky bar at the break of dawn – somewhere in Paris one Autumnal morning. The guitar work is pure Graham Coxon and the layers build up to create a crescendo of distortion, sustain and, well, just raw power! There are Jazz elements to this but more in the ability of the musicians to change tempo and mood at the drop of a hat rather than the tunes themselves. Final track, ‘Kettle Of Fish’, however, opens like the soundtrack to a cheap French detective movie before blasting you with a chorus full of bitterness and despair that features the stylish couplet “A broken droid searching for a way to mend / Looking out for a dead-end waiting round the bend”. I hesitate to pigeon hole this as geek rock or anything so generic but there is a definite and specific market for this out there and most of that market have a nerdy tattoo and have at least one Grandaddy CD in their collection. Or Eels.

More information: http://termite.bandcamp.com/

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