This five track offering is full of ringing guitars, rock steady bass and drum lines. Donald Barclay’s atmospheric voice invites you into the opening track, ‘Shout’. A smokey understated vocal that belies the title; Barclay is content to let the quality of the track do the shouting. There are hints of retro-U2 and Big Country in the singing, guitar solos and riffs.
Slow burner, ‘On My Own’, lets the bass lead into a wonderful world of clanging guitar and mellow singing. The melody is punctuated and counter-pointed by Fraser Henderson’s exultant guitar and Hamish Gordon’s crisp and punchy drumming. Third track ‘Good Morning’ is a straight up rock n’ roll humdinger, heavier than the previous tracks it references classic metal but retains those hallmark guitar rings through the middle and shows Barclay can do raucous with ease.
The last two tracks of the EP include an acoustic version of ‘Shout’ which oozes emotion and brings a different dynamic, and a tricked out remix of ‘Pride and Wonder’ from the album of that name. I’m always afraid these remixes can end up like the council painting over a Banksy but this enhances the original.
This EP is the antidote to claustrophobic drumfire rock bellowing about getting the girl, drinking with the boys, or even maidens, demons and satanic hockum. Here are three finely crafted, intelligent songs, brilliantly realised, full of emotion and throughout; that glorious crystal ringing guitar.