February 19, 2013

NIGHTSHIFT – WAITING TO EXHALE EP REVIEW

nightshift
`Waiting To Exhale’
(Stay In Touch)
The Empty Vessels’ last offering was a monstrous rolling thundercloud of psychedelic blues that married Hendrix with Blue Cheer, all fronted by the towering vocal talents of Matt Greenham. It earned them a Demo of the Month and place on the 2010 Oxford Punt and they’ve been a fixtureon local rock bills ever since.

This new release fi nds the band more considered, losing some of that wild edge in favour of more finely-tuned musicianship, but maybe they’ve lost a bit of that old spark along the way. EP opener `Once A King’ repays repeated listening and sounds oddly like Pearl Jam paying tribute to Roxy Music; it’s almost jazzy at times and more at home in a loung bar than a down-at-heel rock dive, while `Consolers Of The Lonely Night’ kicks in with some sky-searching riffage and tumbling drumming but never really lets its hair down fully, hard and steady instead of untamed.

`Aint Got The Time’ too tends to tip-toe around you rather than stomp on your sensibilities, while
bonus track `Here Come The Empty Vessels’might well be – whisper it – a reincarnated Reef. All’s not lost, though. `Stand In Line’ ups the ante several notches, a return to epic proportions and with hefty hints of Queens Of The Stone Age
in its hook-laden chorus. It’s what they do best. Sometimes band maybe need to remember where their strengths lie, forget about trying anything too clever and just, well, rocking like fuck.
Ian Chesterton