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The Hurt Kingdom is the first EP by UK-based 3-piece To Bury A Ghost. This review has been long-time-coming and its about time those of you who aren’t familiar with TBAG to get a taste of them.

They might not appreciate this but there is a certain Muse quality about this EP. As well as being quite poppy and simplistic, the songs are lathered in beautiful string arrangements and huge distortions. Its like a more post-rocky Muse – or you might say similar to The Boxer Rebellion. In the second track “Coming up for air” the drum pattern has an enthralling sway to it, with added delay and distortion soaked guitar lines. Its unplaceably familiar.

To Bury A Ghost don’t hesitate to dabble with the orchestra, a curiosity many bands lack these days I feel. The opening track “Bithday” opens on quite an uneasy note with a discordant brass-section chord, followed up by the intervention of a stunning violin melody.  Strings are quite present throughout the EP and actually, bring to mind Radiohead. I’ll stop name dropping, but there are certainly quite a few elements here that point elsewhere. This isn’t a criticism, but an observation, it doesn’t take away from the fact that The Hurt Kingdom has a beautifully evocative cinematic quality, and a noisy rocky side. I’d certainly put these down as ones to watch!

A cherry on top of the cake? Yep. A Lee Malcolm from VESSELS remix at the end. Now thats a mighty fine cherry!

myspace.com/toburyaghost

 

I would like to introduce a band with true potential; Leicester based 4-piece Silent Devices. As far as I know Two Decades is their debut EP, and you can tell by the quality of the recordings, not that its off-putting, but its not yet as good as it should be. The style of production used by Justin Lockey in The British Expeditionary Force‘s first album (Erased Tapes) would sound incredible I reckon!

What makes these guys stand out is the simplicity of it all. You can really tell that this band have grasped the absolutely essential concept that making a record is not about complexity, its about crafting a warm sound and layering each individual part meticulously, as to make every note, hi-hat, chord change and so on count and affect the listener. There is certainly something about them that brings Sigur Ros to mind, as well as This Will Destroy You, but these artists are in such high standing that a) who isn’t trying to emulate them? and b) what they convey is pure, egoless, accessible emotion and any band who gets near that is on the right track.

The opening song “Playing Fields” is my favourite. The song is nicely paced, with a beautifully simple melody on the guitar, nice use of cymbals and xylophone, and above all a very seamless progression from start to finish. The build up at the end is brilliant as well, with a most satisfying resolution on the alternation of chords I and IV. I know I don’t need to explain these technical bits, but I want to show that under the simple exterior Silent Devices understand that simple tricks like ending a song on certain chords of a scale appeals to our ears and spyche on a scientific level (hence why blues is SO important), and these tricks are as old and engrained in western culture as Bach. Most people don’t realize that making simple digestible music is actually a whole lot more difficult than making complicated music.

Anyway, enough bullshit. They will undoubtably soon be playing a Sweet Beans show in London so keep an eye out, have a listen to Two Decades on their myspace and support them by buying it if you can.

@CINEMATICBLOG Movements

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