Sleuth, Group Of Bears - EP review
Indie pop is the order of the day from Wulfrunian Sleuth on his new EP.
Sleuth, AKA Chris Taylor-Ashcroft from Tettenhall, launched his new material at Wolverhampton's Stay Loose Records last Saturday, and it has been making a buzz on Bandcamp since then.
It is reminiscent of the late 90s and early 00s when bands like Lightning Seeds made Britpop lite for the masses that tickled the tops of the charts with regular ease.
It's four-tracks of beautifully crafted soft rock which carry Sleuth's breezy vocals with ease. It's crisp and it's clean. He records everything himself, minus some backing vocals from his live band, and the complete finish to the material hides the DIY aspect well behind its quality. It's a good 'listen to this' piece to show to anyone looking to do the same.
Opener Post-it-note Prophecies starts a little messily but once the beat establishes itself in the opening chorus we are treated to some soft, Travis-like guitars while the bass line punches its way through with thoughtfulness. Sleuth's vocals are off-set nicely with the female backing. It works well. Those melodies are a sweet-tinged delight. It's airy and light, a real feel-good track that will be more at home in summer than on these dank, dingy days we live through currently.
Next up is the EP's broodiest effort M.O.A.R. It strops its way past with menacing undercurrents. Again the bass plays a big part here, slithering through the verses before providing a platform for the guitars to lift the chorus to bleeding, emotive climes. It's heartbroken stuff.
All's Well returns to the stratospheric happiness of earlier. Floating sensations are brought on by the guitars and keys as they drift and meander past your consciousness. It's easy-going and comforting in the way it builds towards the choruses.
And the EP is closed with Keep The Wolves From Our Door - perhaps a badly titled track given the football-mad masses who populate the city and support the boys in old gold and black. It's a heavily piano track this time, again plying its trade as a build-up number towards emotive choruses. It doesn't grip you like the others, but again Sleuth handles himself elegantly with the vocals.
Sleuth's brand new EP is available to buy from his Bandcamp page for £5. He can also be found on Facebook and Twitter, both @sleuthsounds