Monday 27 August 2012

The Hermit Crabs - Time Relentless EP

EP review by KevW

With possibly the only use of the word "hermit" in a band name since 'Herman's Hermits', and maybe the only use of the word "crab", this Scottish clan sound exactly like any Glaswegian band signed to indiepop label Matinee Recordings should sound. Much like the creature from which they take their name, The Hermit Crabs are their own being, yet they borrow other bands' musical shells to inhabit; something they don't shy away from, with a list of influences including Camera Obscura, Simon & Garfunkel, Belle & Sebastian etc. Of course, crabs, particularly this variety, aren't known for their speed, and releases by this quartet are few and far between, the 'Time Relentless' EP being the first new material since 2009. Most would go for quality over quantity any time, and fear not, The Hermit Crabs have come up with the goods here.

The breezy and soft intro to 'On The Spectrum' will instantly put a smile on your face and we're sure they won't mind us saying that the melody would sit happily on any of Tracyanne Campbell's compositions. It's not so much returning with a bang, more a gentle caress, and that's just fine. Hal Blaine's famous drum intro to 'Be My Baby' is borrowed for the reflective, steady jangle of the title-track which uses lyrics from a poem by Scottish cyclist Graeme Obree. Rather than backing it with full wall of sound sonics, the orchestration is lighter in nature, therefore not overpowering the song. By now the colours of the EP are on full display as they easily stride through the melancholic indiepop of 'Stop This Now', a tale of love falling apart made even more moving thanks to the sweetness of Mel's vocals, while the piano-led 'So Blue' feels like a lost B&S track. Hermit's they may be, but they choose their habitations wisely and keep them in just as perfect a condition as the owners themselves would.

The Hermit Crabs' website

Buy the EP

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