So the much anticipated follow up to ‘Henry’ was finally released this month and here at Music Season we have only just managed to get around to reviewing it. Now in my personal opinion this has been what I’ve been most waiting for in the music industry since I first saw them live in a little pub in High Wycombe. So will it float onto the musical shores of perfection or sink to the depths of disappointment?
Barbarella kicks off the album with a high tempo maccabees-esque sound which was very reminiscent of the mid 2000’s indie music that was being produced for the first time to a commercial audience. However, this is my least favourite song off of the EP because I feel it doesn’t live up to the invention I expected of Fish Tank, there were moments of sparks but it took multiple listens for me to truly get behind the track. I understand why it is there, it applies to a wider music audience than their previous compositions but it was too safe for me in my opinion. Having said that I still love the chorus and it had me singing it when it was first released for the entire day.
Lily is the follow up and it immediately picked me back up again reminding me of the brilliance of songs like Oliver Postgate which I knew these guys could create with ease. It was sweet, catchy, solemn yet bouncy and it just brings a smile to a listeners face whilst giving them a reason to tap their foot on the floor which surely is the whole point of music. Again the drums, bass and guitar never cease to amaze with innovation whilst complimenting the vocal melody with ease and fluidity. There are lovely guitar licks thrown in every now and then too which really appeals to the guitarist in me. A beautifully constructed song with very applicable lyrics which leave a soft uplifting impression on me.
The Phantom follows and this is by far my favourite track of this month. Awesomely constructed lyrics and guitar that throws me back to my early teens when I first listened to Ginny; the song completely melted me on first listen live and it managed to recapture that in the studio. The bass is funk-tastic too getting my knees trembling with the need to boogie (a lame expression I know but it’s just true). The drums as usual blow other indie performers out of the water with a complex approach to the standardised beat capitalising on the potential which accompaniment can have in this genre. The song has brilliant sections and listen out to 2:30 to hear perhaps the best tapping section I’ve heard since the last Animals as Leaders album. A hot favourite to reaching Music Season’s songs of the year list.
The Wizard rounds off the EP with a degree of variation with a distinctly summery vibe which would be great to chill to on a nice hot day with a bud in hand and the sun specs on. The bass is off of the chain in this record too I found myself following it in particular to see how it fills transitions and I must say I was incredibly impressed. The Wizard all uses more atmospheric effects than any other Fish Tank track which I think still managed to seem suitable for their style; in fact it made it seem even more individualised. The song isn’t for the commercial music fan or the standard pop music listener, but it has a great amount of admiration from a composition stand point from me. Again there are some great vocal and guitar melodies and licks that work in harmony with each other that create a texture rich with appeal and fun.
When I first listened to Barbarella before the rest of the album was released I was disappointed admittedly but my god have I never been more wrong on my initial impression on how this EP would turn out, it went from disappointing to legendary in one swing of a song. I recommend that one day, if you have a free hour or so, to listen to Fish Tanks entirely collection including the Friends single in sequence and you might just hear the greatest indie album ever created, maybe even one of the best experimental albums ever created.
GEP Rating: 9/10 – Near perfection from the Fish Tank guys again and I hope to be hearing much more from them in the future and for god sake someone sign these guys up! In the modern audience they could be absolutely huge!
IEP Rating: 10/10 – Brilliantly produced, amazingly performed and outstandingly put together, EP of the year no doubt.