Kidnapper Bell - The Great Outdoors

TC 16/08/2009

Rating: 4/5

Following on from last years 'Less Me More Sky' EP, this is a seven-track mini-album from the Blackheath four-piece and it's a neatly blended set of tracks that illustrate an ability to write and perform laudable material with an impressive diversity in sound.

The opening title track, and current single, is the most commercial song here, driven along by a funked up bass line and punchy drumbeats. The chorus rises up and bounces along with an indie-pop bluster to it, giving pretensions towards a poppier outing. The other material however, reveals more depth in structure and any Biffy Clyro officiandos should investigate. The melodies are often understated and the songs zig zag away from the melodic core into organised discordance, like on 'What Arthur Said' where the complexity of the structure is hauled into line by a rumbling rhythm section and stabbing guitars, then an interjection of synth effects carrying it into the final trip home.

Final track 'Sleepwalk' stutters and drives along with chanting a due into a stammering conclusion but the piece-de-resistance here is 'Collapsible Friend'. It shows real deftness, as the song gathers grand momentum before slipping away into a dreamy collapse then hammering home a bombarding cruise of a finale; quite stunning!

The diversity here may alienate some but it's an alluring package that gives firm indication of the band's potential. The subtle melodies may come across as being something of a weakness but it is within their instrumental abilities that the promise sits. There remains a question mark over the capacity to write new material I guess as a full set here would have served them better but let's hope there's more to come.

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