Label: Indispex Records Website: As the opening jangle of 'Not Wasted On The Young' fades to bass and vox popper Phil's cleverly penned vocals ring out, backed for the song's entirety by bassist The Bear and guitarist Shuddy (hopefully their actual given names) one thing is clear; Aspen Grove are not bringing anything new to the table but they're setting it with admirable etiquette. The Liverpool based quartet is completed by Pablo on drums, and the aforementioned tracks opens the four track EP in strong form.  First impressions will suit you well, and the repetition of refrain 'we saw the sun/and crawled right in' acts as a solid fulcrum on which the song rests.  It is the vocals indeed that shine; the guitar lines and drums are functional, the dynamics flit nicely between bold, full tones and minimalist drum and bass but never reach the hinted-at potential for a truly gratifying and epic climax.  Rhythm section cadence shifts counteract the constancy of the lead, but it's a musical tool relied a little too heavily upon as the track, and indeed EP continues.  Guitars on third track 'Today' begin in a mode heavily reminiscent of the never-quite-the-next-big-thing The Holiday Plan, and the chorus is standard indie chant, but as ever the mature penmanship and staccato bridge imbue the song with charm. It's at about this point through the EP that the realisation dawns: you are willing Aspen Grove to break out the mould a little.  The two track core of the EP is not lacking in energy and drive, but likewise the abrupt song endings and teasing transitions beg for more fully realised renditions.  The first verse of 'Today' claims wryly that 'imagination slowly burns out', and whilst the parallel to the song-writing is not exact, each track stops just short of taking the plunge from safe and sound indie-rock into slightly the more progressive territory that would set them dramatically apart from their peers. Judging from their Myspace page, Aspen Grove are happily on track.  With a healthy looking gig list and the first drips of critical acclaim leaking through, as well as a professional sounding EP, the band are well on their way.  Also announced on their Myspace page is an incoming name change; let's hope that with a little re-invention they can inspire themselves to reach to loftier heights too.