Saturday 21 June 2014

National Pastime - Houston EP

EP review by KevW

Poor Kal George. He must feel like the odd one out being in a band with two guys called Andy and another called Andrew. This new EP from Exeter indiepop band National Pastime is a good cross-section of their career to date, mixing tracks from recent album 'All Our Yesterdays' and 2010 debut 'Bookmarks'. It's a great introduction to the group, with new production courtesy of Andy (yes, another one) Fonda. As is par for the course with National Pastime, we're looking at three-minute guitar-pop with a DIY feel and a definite inspiration from unsung British guitar bands from the past.

There's no messing around, no needless soloing, just lots of melody and plenty of quick-fire pop hits. 'Houston' revives Bowie's Major Tom character and places him inside a tune that could have come from the Glasgow underground. 'Run With Me Now', 'When Not If' and 'Running Scared' will be a little fresher in the memory, but the former still sounds full of feeling and full of yearning; almost begging for things to be better as the guitar chimes away and keyboards flesh out the sound, giving a sweeping effect. A similar format is used for 'When Not If' and 'Running Scared', but both work and both cement the sound and vibe that National Pastime are aiming for. This is a cohesive selection of tunes, and while it may be a familiar one, the classic sound prevents it from sounding tired. There's plenty of life to be found here.

National Pastime's website

Buy the EP

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