Louise McVey & Cracks in the Concrete – EP Review

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It’s really about time to try catching up on reviews while there’s not much new coming out, so here’s one I’ve been trying to get round to for the best part of a month.

Considering that by now I put Louise McVey & Cracks in the Concrete in my Tips for 2010 it should come as very little surprise that I really enjoyed this EP, but before I’d heard it I’d been really looking forward to it, hoping and praying it wouldn’t disappoint, that the one time I’d seen the band live hadn’t just been a flash in the pan. In fact, so eager was I to get my hands on it that I signed up with Juno Download just because they had it earlier than anyone else.
Needless to say, my anticipation wasn’t wasted, and my hopes not for nothing.

The four songs on the EP have a similar undercurrent of menace and impending doom, yet enough variety to keep things interesting and show there’s more than one trick up the bands sleeve.

From the opening assault of Ode, all spikey guitars and piano, and a refrain that oddly puts me in mind of something from a DJ Shadow or UNKLE album more than anything, to the more gentle sounding Love Lost Tales, on to the unsettling ghost stories of Night, ending with the downbeat and most Twin Peaks of the selection Maud all four songs are driping with atmosphere, musical menace and storytelling lyrics.

Cracks in the Concrete perform a perfectly formed backdrop, while Louise McVey’s ice cold vocals guide the listener through like a siren leading you on to the rocks. Excellent stuff, now to impatiently wait for a follow up album…

Fans of the likes of The Birthday Party and The Bad Seeds, PJ Harvey, Angelo Badalamenti, and just anyone with a taste for something a little different could do a whole lot worse than seek this release out.

Louise McVey & Cracks in the Concrete’s selft titled EP is out now on Optimo Music, available as a download from all the usual places. A 10″ vinyl release will follow in late January.

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Louise McVey & Cracks in the Concrete - Louise McVey & Cracks In the Concrete