An underground buzz has errr buzzed about the Guillemots and on hearing this latest single I can, to some extent, see why. The three tracks that are on the version of the single I bought veer stylistically from anthemic stadium rock, plangent piano led balladry to a bonkers scabrous proto post punk workout. There is more invention and variety on this one single than Coldplay has managed in their entire three album career so far.
"Were Here" creeps in on quavering trails of electronic noise but soon the strings are sweeping around like some deity's broom. I'm not entirely convinced at this point because even though I like sweeping strings like someone who likes sweeping strings very very much , the track lacks the sort of killer chorus a song of this nature ostensibly needs to hang it's weighty pretensions on. Mind you the songs developing structure and the first verse are quite superb. Embrace can do this sort of thing in their sleep which is presumably why they have got the World Cup gig .but despite the tumultuous build up and a splendidly moody ending that middle section shows the Guillemots aren't at that level ....yet.
Lovely piano led ballad "Burnt" is very nicely sung and the spectral noises and use of a female counterpoint for the last verse are a lovely inventive touch. Maybe the reason last track "I've Got A Problem (The Problem Is You)/ Turn The Candles On" comes as such a shock is because the previous track is so beautifully rendered. This jolts the senses like an ice bath , as juddering percussion and male / female discordant vocals vie with jabs of ugly keyboard till a candid piano design takes over and the song engages it's melodious core. Like Psychic TV jamming with King of the Slums it's oddly exhilarating.
Clearly this is a band bursting with ideas and invention and hurrah and huzzah for that. Artists like that can be hit and miss but its clear The Guillemots know where the bull's-eye is. Cant wait to hear more of them and the included video for "Were Here" is tremendous as well showing they have the visual flair to match the musical .