Garden of Elks – Extended Play

elks It’s nice to be right.

I remember when this lot first appeared, with the awesome, shouty This Morning We Are Astronauts, the very first thing which went through my head was that age-old Toad mantra: don’t get too excited, it’s just the one song. I know I say that all the damn time on this site, but it’s more for myself than it is for you, I must be honest. It’s so easy in this business to hear something new and awesome and then to go rambling excitedly away about it before you really have much idea if the band are going to be any good or not in the long run.

Obviously a four-song EP isn’t all that much more new information, but in general I get a really good feeling about these guys. I saw them play live at Sneaky’s again recently, as part of the Wide Days festival, and they were great. Niall snarls out at you from behind his beard, Ryan seems to be powering the bass guitar entirely by the energy of a thousand crotch-thrusts, and Kirstin manages to look wild-eyed and rock ‘n’ roll and yet curiously calm and collected all at once. And it is, simply put, just great pop music. Shouty-as-fuck pop music with loud, snarling guitars maybe, but nevertheless infectious as balls and huge amounts of fun.

There are a couple of songs from the EP available for preview on the band’s Soundcloud page, as well as both the earlier singles. The EP is available to buy here on CD or cassette, and if you do so you’ll notice one other thing which bodes well for the future of this band. I’ve written before, in reviews of Brown Brogues and PAWS, that the danger of being a band largely defined by intense, raucous pop songs is that when you move on to album territory (assuming you do) then there is the risk of wearing out the listener a little by going at them hammer and tongs for forty minutes.

Limpy the Javelin Thrower, the third track on Extended Play, whilst just as wonky as the rest of the EP, gives the sonic battering a bit of a rest and in doing so suggests that this lot know what they’re doing a little more than you might be able to guess from two boisterous pop singles. Good times ahead, I would hope.