Label: East West/Triple Crown Release date: 07/12/09 Website: myspace.com/astallaslions As Tall As Lions are a big deal right now. Pitchfork don’t seem to like them much, but their name is everywhere at the moment, having steadily built up their reputation through a handful of albums and EPs over the last seven years. The Circles EP contains the title and opening tracks from Augusts’ You Can’t Take It With You, along with a couple of other bits and pieces, and is a perfect, bite-sized chunk of a band who are earning every namedrop they receive, and a great teaser of the album’s UK release next year, and the band’s first UK dates next month. Opening, like the album does, with ‘Circles’, the EP jitters to life with franticly clattering drums and a picked acoustic guitar that rolls along behind the soft Bon Iver-y vocals. Horns swell up subtly in the background before that post-rock guitar wail kicks in and the song kicks up a notch. ‘You Can’t Take It With You’, however, is a slow, meandering number with drum beats and echoey singing that creates a folksy Gorillaz vibe before opening up in to a chiming desert-rock chorus, and then switching back again. ‘Ghost Of York’, from 2006’s self-titled album is a slightly more standard epic-by-numbers indie rock tune with less of the subtle touches that make the first half so good, but is nonetheless a catchy mess of jangly guitars, but we’ve heard all these before, though, so much of the responsibility of making this something worth buying for existing fans is on the final track, the as-yet unreleased ‘I Could Die Here’. Unfortunately, as a standard piano ballad with nothing but a small swell of drums a minute before the end to flesh it out, there will be little of interest for all but the most obsessive collectors, but for those who feel as though As Tall As Lions have completely passed them by thanks to their lack of UK representation, this is an ideal way to try them out before they storm in and take over. Rating: 7/10