Label: BSM Release date: 15/03/10 Website: Myspace Hotly-tipped young things Tall Ships release their self-titled debut EP, fresh from a tour with hotly-tipped young things Tubelord. Opener 'Books' is straight away pretty much the best track; it’s the most evolved, it’s the most surprising, and it’s something we’ve not quite heard before, even if it does conspicuously remind of several other bands. Towering, slightly lumbering but thrilling in all the right places, it tiptoes when necessary in a hi-hat skittering outro and lyrical musing of “Time is precious; time will forget us”. Maybe it’s the band’s name and geography (they’re from Falmouth) hanging over your head, but there’s definitely a nautical sound to it somehow. 'Words Are Pegs Upon Which We Hang Ideas' is something of a misstep. Broadly, it has a lot going for it – such as a spirited performance and fluid riff – but the ‘50’s public service announcement that it heavily samples and arbitrarily plasters about itself is tiresome. Yes it’s supposed to be random, yes it’s supposed to be kitsch; but this isn’t Frontier fucking Psychiatrist so it doesn’t work. 'Beanieandodger', previously featured as an NME Daily Download and thus instantly plugging Tall Ships directly into the commercial mains, begins with a Dominoes-like drum beat before a spiral staircase riff that winds itself tighter and tighter until it uncoils like an old slinky. Afterwards, 'Vessels' is suddenly like swimming through treacle, all so-mo keys and vocals until a sprightly but saturated-sounding guitar joins in. Confirming the maritime suspicions hinted at in Books, it takes on something of a sea shanty vibe with gang vocals and octave-shifting organs and condensed bass. The impression is gained that 'Words Are Pegs...' would’ve been much more impressive left as an instrumental. You can even see where the band are coming from, the track being propulsive enough on its own and probably tricky to jam lyrics in there; perhaps they were conscious of being lumped in the post-rock genre on the basis of a vocally-sparse EP. But the sample effect just doesn’t quite come off, and is annoyingly distracting in its zany disposability. Although more successful than 'Words...', 'Beanieandodger' almost impales itself on the same spiky jungle pit mantrap like some sort of suicide musical kebab by also using public domain speech samples, disembodied voices from another time crop up as if played on a gramophone at a bad séance. But relatively minor gripes aside, anyone wanting to fill a Youthmovies-shaped void might want to investigate Tall Ships further. Photobucket