Monday, 5 November 2012

Sootytern - Who Does Not Know The Famous Swan

EP review by KevW

So our ornithologically themed Lancastrian friends Sootytern are (possibly, there's no question mark) asking the question 'Who Does Not Know The Famous Swan' on their new EP. Well, me for one, unless it's the white one that Marc Bolan rode. The quote is apparently taken from a Wordsworth poem and "eloquently sums up Ewan’s (a.k.a. Swan’s) passion for elegant posture and hissing at strangers." Well it's often said that the drummer is usually the mad one so that must be the case with these guys too. On this new record they deliver loads more expertly put together indie/folk tunes inspired by the Lake District and their own mortality, using a mixture of electric and acoustic weaponry to achieve notable results.

Of particular merit is the post-punk-folk they create on 'Aira Force' and 'Grasvegas', both of which are immediate attention grabbers that reside at the harder end of their musical palate, the latter echoes some of the grandeur found on certain British Sea Power tracks. The rustic harmonies of 'North' channel more traditional folk sounds whilst keeping the tempo fairly high and the upbeat acoustic stomp of 'Stars' is another cracker, but the slower tracks aren't just here to fill in the gaps, although they may require a bit more time to click. 'Jack's Rake' feels like possible filler at first but it soon shows its true colours, and the half-shanty closer 'Out Into The Open' was precision engineered to be the epic final track. At no point do they answer the question posed by the title of this EP, but really when you've got some tunes like this to listen to you're beyond caring.

Sootytern's website

Stream or buy the EP

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