Bright Spark Destroyer - Holy Yell
Owain Paciuszko 09/09/2010
Pop twee from five-piece outfit kind of blurs into fuzziness, much like its anaglyph cover image, sure the performance is lively taking in a kind of anthemic pop quality that feels like Jonsi fronting Coldplay, but lacks the emotional punch that either of those acts can reach (the latter on their first two records). Opener The Dead Sea Scrolls is kind of a passive experience, but the Math-leanings of They Already Know impress, creating a frenzied pace that helps buoy James Ellis' vocal. It builds into a wash of skittering drums, plodding bright pianos, thuds of bass and assorted synths and reverberating vocals, which makes for a dizzying listen, but doesn't quite set the heartbeat racing as it should.
The Shortest Distance begins with the kind of pre-mellow-anthem intro that wouldn't be out of place on a Snow Patrol record, but fortunately quickly morphs into something far more reminiscent of The Postal Service at their most uplifting. Further glitch can be found on Unknown Forces which has a rich and sumptuous musical flavour, this band have the skill to create a gorgeous soundscape, it's just not being married to something that stirs the soul just yet and this isn't really a probelm of the lyrics or the vocals, things just feel a bit vague and whilst there's a lot happening and it all sounds nice, the listener is kept at arms length and not really drawn into the sound.
Final track A Feeling Of Health is a disappointing close to the record, sure, it namechecks the ep's title, it throws in some grandiose guitar licks and apocalyptic choral flourishes, but none of this really gives it the sense of closure that it strives for. Maybe it's a dulling of the senses, but the ammount of stuff thrown at the listener is comparable to the Michael Bay approach to film-making, and it all just becomes noise.
There's a lot of admirable stuff going on in these five tracks, this is definitely a talented group of musicians and they're capable of great things, but on this record we only really get to see glimpses of that. To that extent I look forward to what Bright Spark Destroyer have got to offer us in the future, but this release, though richly and elegantly produced, isn't quite there yet.