Dont Tread On Spiders - Russian Doll

Owain Paciuszko 11/01/2010

Rating: 4/5

Just over a year on since their last EP, this follow-up opens with the spiky title track, all oozy backing vocals, slinky guitar lines, jittering cymbals and lead vocalist Sonny Day providing a sneery delivery. With its quirky percussion and danceable driving melody it has something similar to on-form The Rapture, but isn't as intentionally aimed at boogie shoes.

Meanwhile the opening of Get Up & Go seems to riff around a hundred different alternative-pop tunes, most noticeably The Vapors' Turning Japanese, but it's undeniably fun in its own right and these influences are worn as well as, say, BRMC ape The Velvet Underground. Meanwhile Wasted You is a ramshackle indie-pop number that has the regretful heart of Don McLean writing for The Lightning Seeds, whilst it finds the band at their finest emotionally the vocals are almost flippantly delivered, lacking a certain bite that would have seemed apt.

Things go very The Beatles on Like A Cloud, there's definitely something of the airy, optimistic Dear Prudence in Sonny's wistful delivery and the hairs on the back of your neck start to tingle once the chorus kicks in and Sonny and co. sing; 'I can't take that look, it's not fair...' The song is propelled along by Caitlin Davies bass-line and an excellently structured tune with a genuine retro sound.

This is a more complete sounding EP than their previous, but no less enjoyable, effort (2008's Monomyth), however there's also a slightness here that begs for the band to attempt an LP - or at least a mini-album - because at four tracks you feel their just getting started.