Tuesday, 7 July 2015

EP Review - Spirit Down

Spirit Down
by: Our Man In Berlin (available now)

It started with the name, Our Man In Berlin, because how could I not fall in love with a band whose name contained one of my favourite places in all the world? Those four words a few years ago now were only the beginning of what has become a long term long distance relationship; because with each song I have heard I have loved them a little more and with the release of their second EP Spirit Down, let’s say the adoration has been completely and totally confirmed.

‘Bones’ opens proceedings, but this one is much more than merely bare bones, the mid-tempo should not be confused for simplicity; the sounds complex, layer upon layer of reverberations and voices are a stunning way to start and in the first three minutes OMIB prove their talent, the 90s guitar riffs somewhat comforting, hidden in amongst the synths and sounds of layered vocals. Following is what was my first taste of this EP in ‘Moliere’, and it’s just as magnificent now as it was four months ago, the organised chaos is as thought and movement provoking now as it was then, it’s collection of bits and pieces nerve rackingly delightful.

Title track ‘Spirit Down’ is perfectly placed mid-way through, the somehow downhearted nature of that rapid fire percussion is everything, while singer Hadyn’s voice hits all the highs I’ve come to adore, but it’s not until we get to ‘Seperate’ that it can really be appreciated, the sparse instrumentation that begins is inviting, the bass line subtly intense and all the clicks and buzzes and tones and beats are a perfect match to Trevor Shotam's awesome skills on guitar.

Final track ‘Muster’ arrives far too quickly but what an absolutely beautiful way to end; sparse, slightly spooky, soothing and subtly spectacular, it is exactly everything this little band from Perth have proven themselves to be - an experience, not just a band and their sophomore offering is a journey, not just an EP. Our Man In Berlin’s understated confidence remains as it has since day one, their ability to know when to pull the sounds back and when to smother their tales with noises is rare and admirable and Spirit Down is confirmation that confidence remains and where confidence walks, adoration follows. Looks like this little fan's long term long distance relationship will be continuing for sometime yet; here's hoping to a full album sometime soon. Until then, they are on a national Spirit Down EP tour. Head over to our gig guide to see when Our Man In Berlin are playing near you. 

Jo Michelmore gives Spirit Down four Siouxsie Sioux heads out of five...

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