The Carletons - EP3

Owain Paciuszko 24/11/2009

Rating: 4/5

Regardless of the music I do admire The Carletons productivity and tenacity, since giving 2/5 to the first EP they sent me back in February, they nudged their way up a 3/5 come the second EP in July and now it's November and EP number 3 is doing the rounds in my player.

Opening with the shouty, fast-paced rock swagger of Days of the Past which mixes Kasabian-like production into a changable tune that goes through a variety of guises, straight rock, a bit of The Beatles styled melody, into the wry arrangment of Arctic Monkeys. It showcases what is best about this band, that although they do feel somewhat simplistic and derivative, they can put together an interesting track and here they have excelled themselves.

The Tempting has a wiry squeal to its guitars and a proudly sneered Preston accent. Having been together since mid-2007 they're growing in confidence in leaps and bounds, with these three tracks showcasing a flair for production that augments their sound just enough to set them apart, though they do still lack something that totally distinguises them from the crowd. Release Me is a grand finale, with vocals sounding like Highly Evolved-era The Vines (the melodic bits, not the screaming). The track itself ebbs into a ethereal refrain of 'There's no hope above my window...' before climaxing quite suddenly.

In this instance, beyond their previous two EPs, there's a certain sense of stuntedness, that the end of the record feels like a prologue, rather than the band kicking around some ideas. This feels more like a primer to an album proper, and that is, considering where they were at the dawn of this year, a huge step for this band and I am very keen to see what 2010 has in store for them.