Wednesday, 5 September 2012

The Revival Hour - Clusterchord EP

EP review by KevW


You'd be forgiven for thinking that The Revival Hour were a British offshoot of the nu-folk/alt-folk/acoustic rock/call it what you want revival. The tracks on their debut EP 'Clusterchord' bear a resemblance to revivalists and experimentalists from this side of the pond rather than the country leanings or Fleeting harmonies of their US counterparts, but American they are, and on the strength of this first offering they have a willingness to innovate, deviate, regurgitate and investigate. This is a difficult sound to pin down for sure, but folk it ain't. Beginning with the relative normality of 'Hypergiant' you're already sharpening up those familiar references to contemporary artists that have littered the reviews of many bands these past few years. It feels like the slightly psychedelic into to some good old fashioned songcraft. And in a way, I suppose it is.

What follows isn't elegant strumming and campfire singalongs, nor is it chest-beating stadium folk. 'Pyre' retains the adventurous streak and sounds like the result of a lost recording session between Barrett-era Pink Floyd and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. It's surprisingly obtuse yet avoids delving into any ill-advised "I'm mad me!" wackiness. The duo don't stick with that sound either. On 'Beehive' we get a glimpse of how Grandaddy would have sounded had they arrive 30 years earlier, and 'Fire Season' feels like it's just fallen off the end of a 'Nuggets' compilation and applies more Syd Barrett guitar. They do finally toy with convention (to a point) on 'Altercall', but it's convention after a few shots of Absinthe. So, yeah, pinning it down is a tricky one. We'll go for the broad term of psychedelic-folk-rock, but regardless of categorisation, it's a surprisingly mind-bending voyage.



The Revival Hour's website





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