Alburn – A Mouthful of Glass EP

Alburn release their sophomore EP, Mouthful of Glass, next week on 25th August 2014.

The EP is the result of months of writing together – the first time the band have written collectively in their current guise – and the writing process has seen the band create a slightly more visceral sound than on their previous release. As a result we witness growth and progression in both the songwriting ability and playing ability of the band. Opening track ‘The Nurses Can’t Help Me’ is a heavy, distortion laden stop-start melody whilst the vocals are spat at you.

Second track ‘Golden’ is slower-paced and works around the quiet / loud dynamic. Its the time changes galore and screaming vocals which set it apart, especially when there are lovely harmonies keeping it all together. It is when the electrifying bass rattles title track ‘Mouthful of Glass’ along that you really should sit up and take notice. Signature guitar notes intersperse through that juggernaut bass and provide a structure for Pete Duthie’s vocals to take shape; an urgency and despair during the verses which opens up to a melodic refrain for the choruses.

About 2/3 of the way through the song breaks down to catch its breath before the guitar solo which is followed by a crescendo of guitar and drums to finish. For me, this track is head and shoulders above the others on the EP. However that shouldn’t detract from the other songs as they are most impressive. Just not, you know, as good as the title track.

The EP closes with ‘Sweetheart’ an acoustic track is is very reminiscent of Engines, their previous release. It just so happens this was also our first exposure to Alburn. I really liked that previous sound, and this harks back nicely. However after repeated listens the new direction has grown on me and now prefer it. Of course, the irony in that is that ‘Sweetheart’ sounds out of place, even if it does highlight the fantastic vocals of Gee MacPhee!

Gareth Fraser
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