The Exhibition - 4 Track Demo EP

Owain Paciuszko 10/03/2010

Rating: 3/5

With the opening of The Boy and the Tearaway you almost expect them to burst into a cover version of Coldplay's Yellow, except it keeps going off down a different track after half a familiar riff, and then lead singer Pete Dand's appealingly dry, Barnsley accented vocals pipe up. But it's hard to shake those occasional doppelganger tendencies towards Chris Martin et al, and then the track's closing moments bring to mind an epic Elbow finale.

Bright New Worlds jaunty pace and mopey lyrics coalesce well, bringing to mind The Jam taking a wry trip to an indie-disco. With its squelchy bass line, splashy drums and catchy guitar line the band continue to move away from their earlier 'stadium filling' vibe and keep both feet entrenched in music that matches its integrity with a fun, danceable feeling. 'Everything you lived for passed away,' sighes Dand, and you can imagine a full dancefloor or mosh pit revelling in these melancholic asides.

That's the biggest advantage that The Exhibition have in their current arsenal, a sense of entertainment and a knack for being able to marry the up and down beat. 'These are notions I struggled all my life with,' Dand ponders midway through closing track Reaction, which is a slightly less successful example of what I was just talking about, but nevertheless a decent finale to an EP that rescued itself quite admirably after a soggy start. If they can keep this up then the future will look bright for this Northern quartet.