Thursday 24 October 2013

Reichenbach Falls - Stay Home, Elizabeth

Single review by

Rather than the here-one-minute, gone-the-next scenes that spring up around the UK from time to time, often simply as a media creation, Oxford has steadily been producing the goods for several years without feeling the need to shout about it too much (if you discount the NME's brief fascination with the 'Blessing Force' bands), and the city is continuing to do so. Reichenbach Falls came to our attention with their wintry EP 'I'll Never Go Anywhere Without Her Now' early this year. Well now they're stepping up a gear and readying their debut album for release before too long. We don't have a date, but the title, 'Reports Of Snow', suggests it'll be with us before spring. If the EP got the ball rolling, the album's first single should keep things in motion, and like the snow in the title, grow bigger as it does so.

There's something warm and cosy about these guys that suits this half of the year, and you can feel that on 'Stay Home, Elizabeth', a very good marker to put down. Starting slowly with soft guitar and intimate, impassioned vocals, they employ the age-old slow-build tactic, but realise that it only works if the song fits that format and if it's done well. They achieve success on both counts, with the gradual swelling of the instrumentation never going over the top or overreaching itself. By the end you're listening to a classic piece of modern alt-rock; the same variety that many US bands attempt, but not all of them succeed in so well. Released on the tenth anniversary of the passing of Elliott Smith, someone whose influence can still be felt in many band's work, including Reichenbach Falls', they deliver a haunting cover of Smith's 'Needle In The Hay' as a tribute for the B-side. Assuming they do bring us an album before the winter is out, it's sure to do more to warm the soul than a hot toddy, but might be the perfect accompaniment to one too.

Reichenbach Falls' website

Buy the single

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