Oh No! Oh My! - Between The Devil And The Sea EP

Mike Mantin 09/08/2007

Rating: 4/5

'Between The Devil And The Sea' is a very welcome stopgap EP from this exciting Nashville band. Mainly comprised of songs written by their old band The Jolly Rogers (that explains the appearace of 'A Pirate's Anthem', then), it still manages to sound like a progression from their self-titled debut album, continuing its breezy twee-pop style whilst building on it. Opener 'Oh Be One' and 'The Party Punch' in particular pile guitars, 'oohs' and anything else they feel like on top of each other, creating the band's lushest-sounding songs yet. As well as their skill for crafting pop hooks (the keyboard riff on 'Our Mouths Were Wet' is all the proof you'll need for that), their other strong point is Greg Barkley's vocals, a distinctive nasal style mastered by Thom Yorke and last seen in Alec Ounsworth of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

There will be few surprises for those familiar with them except perhaps 'The Bike, Sir', a strange but charming one-minute ditty which, like the previous album's 'Reeks And Seeks', reminds us that Oh No! Oh My! aren't afraid to stray into weirder territory. 'Between The Devil And The Sea' is a hugely impressive EP, and on this evidence it's easy to imagine Oh No! Oh My! moving swiftly from hype to mainstream success: they've already shared festival stages with Sonic Youth and The Flaming Lips, and these excellent songs will keep the converted happy before their next album inevitably creates legions of new fans.