Delays - Love Made Visible EP

Tim Miller 06/12/2007

Rating: 3/5

In the small gaps between secret gigs, finishing their new album and styling their hair, Delays have somehow found time for a crowd appeaser, a little something to whet their fans' appetite before next March's full length album 'Everything's The Rush'. With only one of the songs to feature on that upcoming record, Delays have taken the trouble to pour their hearts and souls into three more new songs just to release on a limited (to 2000) edition EP.

Openly confessing to making their sound bigger, brighter and bolder this time around in their recent GIIITTV interview - 'Everything's the Rush' will be their third album in six years - this EP, then, gives the listener a taste of what to expect. It opens with a probing, radar-like effect before duet vocals tread daintily over the ever-growing soundscape,' Love Made Visible' crashing to life with echoing guitars and a dynamic disco rhythm. The chorus, rather nostalgically, harks back to driving guitar pop of the early '90s, maybe earlier, and second track 'Panic Attacks' continues in this vein, even managing to sound vaguely like Genesis. Maybe it's the bouncing '80s synth line, or the Peter Gabriel-esque lead vocal. The chorus again is bold, but straightforward, two chords showered in a wave of guitars and spacey electro sounds.

In fact, it's the aptly named 'Slow Burn' which is the stand out track on this EP; a rousing almost-ballad that develops from delicate beginnings into a string-laden tour de force. It sees, in my view, the most suitable application of the plaintive falsetto vocal that graces the majority of the EP, a song with total emotional depth and well-managed instrumentation. The sparse drums are integral to the feel of the track, while burning guitar lines rise into the atmosphere above the elegant string arrangement: it's the only moment on the EP where Delays' hearts are truly worn on their sleeves.

The final song 'You See Colours' sports more reverberating synths, the type of expansive pop rock that The Killers have forged a career in thus far, and, bar the hypnotic remix of Love Made Visible, the starter is over and Delays' main course is on the menu for next March.

This bigger and bolder new sound, then. Delays have thrown themselves into their new songs, recording 22 of them for their 12-track album and releasing a mid-term EP to reward their patient fans. Lush in production, it's sprawling, but not epic; colourful, but not quite dazzling. The full throttle emotion that scores each track is at the expense of the melodic pop leanings going on for their previous two LPs, a rich sound but without, perhaps, a striking centrepiece. The album is sure to promise much after this, but with Love Made Visible, it's almost like watching a firework display without hearing the explosions: impressive, but not quite satisfying.