Label: Unsigned Release date: Out Now! Website: Haunted Stereo on MySpace Since when did the accordion become the instrument du jour for so many UK bands? The amount of promos that I’ve heard this year that contains the instrument astounds me, refreshingly in Haunted Stereo’s case it seems this highly trained band of musicians are not jumping on the squeezebox bandwagon, but that the accordion is just another instrument in their significant arsenal. The Southampton based band exist very much in the alt-folk hemisphere, part of a genre heavily glazed with pretence. Though at the same time their curious, inventive arrangements puts them on the outskirts, away from the glut of trust fund city folk with stalks of barley sticking from the corner of their mouths. Out of the three songs that make up the Tree House EP two are encouraging, one is horrible. Let’s get the bad mouthing out of the way first, ‘Buttons’ is horrific purely and simply because of the vocal performance from Anja McCloskey, her wail has all the composure of a trapped cat panicking inside a washing machine, a dinner lady falling into a deep fat fryer, you get the picture, it is plain dreadful, and not even in an endearing Kimya Dawson kinda way. ‘Childhood’s End’ has no such problems with Andy Harris delivering assured Gruff Rhys like harmonies, the song begins with a loping Fugazi style bass before getting cross stitched by an assortment of violin and accordion, in truth it’s a bit of a mess with different sounds competing to be heard, the song arrangement appears patchwork like, nothing seems to fit together. Creeping along like the Son of Sam ‘Walking in Threes’ is a lurching, scratching track that displays the skill and wicked humour of Haunted Stereo. Again the structure is unusual, and it is the incoherence and jumbled clash of so many different instruments that showcases the appeal of the group, yet at the same time underlines their limitations. Rating: 6.5/10