Gus Garcia - Many Hiding Places

Owain Paciuszko 14/03/2010

Rating: 4/5

Opening with the jaunty strum of Colleagues gets things off to a good start, it's upbeat pace contrasts nicely with some eerie chord changes; though the chorus with its syncopated beat and 'Ba ba' backing vocals is nice it doesn't really take the song off in any unexpected directions. Nevertheless, the world of the contemporary male singer-songwriter is often worrying for potential critics, and fortunately Garcia puts your mind at ease with pleasantly crafted, intelligent arrangments and straight-forward lyrics.

Before The Winter is a slower number with Garcia's vocal suitably cracked and strained, there are hints of Elliot Smith in his vocal melodies and bittersweet tales. Garcia is, surprisingly, from Brazil, having moved to London in 2006, as his sound and accent bare no hallmarks of South American influence. It's even more surprising, or perhaps less so, that Garcia does off-beat, acoustic pop far better than many British troubadours.

Final track Menace sounds a bit like a Josh Homme acoustic number, there's a little less invention to it than the rest of what's on offer here and doesn't impress as much as the previous two songs, but it's a pretty decent, simple acoustic number. So, not exactly the greatest finale to this short, yet impressive, sophomore EP from Garcia.