Empty Vessels ... Reviews by Sheraz Qureshi


Empty Vessels: If it came down to it
Art Zoo noise? No I did not just make a genre up - that's how empty vessels describe their sound! I suppose I understand to an extent. Words aren't really the focus here. What you get are lots of la la's, shrieks, and yes - animal style noises! There is of course the occasional sound bite thrown in - but its what it all adds up to that makes it so impressive. Throw away the lyrics… and suddenly indie isn't left bare - but with a more diverse range of vocal sounds to experiment with, and for daring to embrace that, empty vessels are to be applauded.

My Visor: Sickroom Remixes EP

Kathryn Mac's vocals are definitely of the PJ Harvey mould, but it's what she finds herself singing over that's the problem. There is potential here for sure - but its just frustrating listening to songs that sound like they could have been so much more. If you want to delve further, download 'think of you.' Its relegated to b side status here, but its their best moment so far. Not any easy band to like, but definitely one to watch.

Icecream Headache: Not Indestructible

Bands like this aren't supposed to exist anymore. Think the fast and the furious, a band somewhere between the politics of sham 69 and the diy of art brute. They can't play and they don't care. I don't even mind that this doesn't sound particularly original - in fact, that's part of the appeal: " our aim is to make music redundant " remember? Of course you can only get away with that if you have something to say, and they do: "The world is not a playground it's a building site" - It's Debord distilled all over again...

Stillman: The Weightless EP

Hmmm lets see:
Boys with guitars?
Angst / Self hate?
Where's the X factor?
"Sensitive" lyrics?
Verse / Chorus… Verse?
Impossible for girls to dance to?
Indie by numbers? No - never! PS: If you are going to try and present a skewed version of your history to your fans, then you know - go for it, but at least don't leave a trail of evidence on your website that undoes it all! " I wasn't born for show / no labels on my soul " yeah right….

Ricky: High Speed Silence
The problem when bands try and emulate Britpop is that the end result ends up more 'the man who' then 'definitely maybe,' and I don't think 'new acoustic' ever really did it for anyone. Yet there are some tracks that really stand out. " That Extra Mile" reminds me of early Travis (but complete with a feel good brass section). "Running," sounds like the Coral at their best and in ' I can lead you to war ' the band even find time to comment on the dangers of mixing religion with politics… The verdict then? Feel good indie in the vein of the magic numbers, although slightly weighed down by JJ72 esq. vocals BUT give it a few listens and you will be won over to.

Toupe: Burgers

The album is called burgers because..... " Burgers symbolise everything that is bad for you! Instantly satisfying; not good for you in anyway, except to stop you feeling hungry and packaged to appeal to kids. Now place that on pop music." Interesting… and the entire album is packaged to read like a restaurant menu, with each song being compared to a meal description. I don't know what to make of this to be fair. Anything with kazoos in is always going to get a sort of thumbs up, and I like the fact that even though they are trying to say something they realise the importance of humour in trying to get through to people. But ultimately the album is to long (1 hour 20 minutes) and lacks the flair of say a Tenacious D that would make this all work. Bonus points for effort mind.

Casual Saints: Bones in the Sun
The opening sounds a bit like we are scientists... its fun and upbeat - and on the b sides they show they can do slower stuff to. At first I worried that they sounded to similar to everything else to really get noticed - but then I heard their cover of East 17's ' Stay another day ' and suddenly wasn't anywhere near as sceptical! A good band then, just don't expect any riots…

Influx: I Got Held Up

I'm sure that with the right producer these songs could come across better, but as it is - I find this hard to recommend. "This is messy and ramshackle, with guitars that sound on the verge of collapse " - yeah but that's not a good thing is it? I'm reminded of a less accomplished At the Drive in… maybe I need to see them live before passing judgement?

Sidearm: Don't cry until you are dead.

I like the presentation, whether that's the artwork on the cd - or the website's design. Plus if you see them live they start their shows with pretentious poetry readings and weird backdrop screen projections! Great stuff! Listen to this if you like Mogwai / Godspeed your emperor… it's a demo - so don't expect it to sound ' fully there ' just yet, but considering the budget this was done on it's as fine a piece of angst fuelled rock as any.

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