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It's sweet how Little Brother Eli describe their first EP as a "musical lovechild". Formed by Alex Grew and Joshua Rigal, the main writing team, the project is now a fully-fledged band for live performances, so you can stop your Black Keys/White Stripes comparisons there. They make blues-rock, but not in such a minimalist way. The vocals to opening track 'Animal Fair' definitely have an element of raw blues to them, an a decent portion of soul too. The song is a confident and bold first statement. It can't be easy making a song about animals into a modern blues powerhouse and not sounding stupid, but they manage it, passing the test with flying colours and a great guitar sound.
Following this mighty start, 'Awkward Positions' is something of a let-down. It's still ambling around the same genres but sounds just too clean. You'd expect Jools Holland to be a fan of this one, and that just about says it all. It could be better; some of the spooky effects are good, but this more sanitised and less real. If someone came up with the phrase "landfill blues-rock" then this might fit the bill. All is soon forgotten though, and Little Brother Eli show us what they can do on 'When She Sings', a more authentic sounding song that's doused in more of that scorching guitar work; surely one of their best attributes. They mix in some nice tempo and style changes too, and this adds variety. It's a big song, much like the opener. They could be in line for very good things. And anyway, as Meatloaf one sang, two out of three ain't bad.
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