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"EP Delicious"

Peace – EP Delicious
14 September 2012, 08:57 Written by Chris Lo

A couple of promising demo tracks, a few fiery live shows – in the insular world of UK indie, such small steps can be the difference between obscurity and bewildering, eye-watering hype. Birmingham quartet Peace played their part last year with some memorably chaotic gigs and a handful of intriguing tracks, and the scene duly responded. A gang of handsome chummy Brummies with a penchant for psychedelic vibes and fizzy guitars? Yes please, I’ll take a hundred.

But building buzz is the easy bit – people naturally lean towards fascination when you’re only showing them one or two cards from a tantalising, unturned deck. The real work, the task that proves too much for so many young indie bucks, is making good on all that half-glimpsed promise when you finally slap those cards down on the table. Although Peace’s 2013 debut album will be the real showdown, we’re getting a little preview with the band’s first EP Delicious, a four-track taster that, while certainly not a royal flush, gives us just enough to hope for more.

Peace have described their sound as “dark melodic indie techno”, but that’s not quite what we get on Delicious, an EP that, for better or worse, fits comfortably into the established indie firmament. If you’re looking for indie techno, check out 120 Days. Here, we get a sound that dips into various aspects of the modern indie landscape, zipping inventively from one sub-genre to the next, even it never quite finds its own path.

Early track ‘BBlood’ reappears on Delicious as ‘Bloodshake’, which spirals around an intertwining, Foals-ish dual-guitar riff while also channelling a little of that tinny afro-pop sound that’s become a common theme for so many new bands, including Outfit, another group of young firecrackers who released a buzzy EP this year. ‘Ocean’s Eye’ opens with dusty psych-rock atmospherics, ramping up into a bracing burst of growly energy that would be more potent if it wasn’t quite so reminiscent of what those mercurial Mancunians Wu Lyf were doing a year ago.

A general lack of originality doesn’t detract from the skill on show here. This is clearly a band perfectly attuned to playing and writing together; there’s an organic dynamism to these songs as they duck and swirl from one moment to the next. The casual unfurling of sun-dappled beach ballad ‘California Daze’ is a testament to the band’s patience and confidence, while ambitious 10-minute closer ’1998 (Delicious)’ – a loose take on Binary Finary’s trance hit – is the best showcase yet of their talent for blending moods and tempos.

For all the skill on display, there’s a spark of inspiration missing from Delicious. All this great musicianship and smart songwriting can’t quite disguise the absence of a larger purpose or identity. Still, there’s every possibility that the band will grow into itself in time to release a mind-blowing LP next year. In the meantime, Delicious is easily good enough to give Peace a chance.

Listen to EP Delicious

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