TITLE: Slept But Did Not Sleep
LABEL: Superstar Destroyer Records
RELEASED: November 26th 2012
Minimalism and simplicity appear to be Ninetails’ strengths and their second EP Slept But Did Not Sleep is nothing but this. With fans at NME, Clash and Vice, Ninetails are on for a winner with the follow-up to their debut EP Ghost Ride The Whip. Sodden in funky synths and drones which haunt you to the very core, the Scouse foursome sure know how to create an atmosphere. In fact, it’s probably great Halloween music!
Starting with Maybe We, which drifts and floats through euphoric electro riffs. On an album that lacks vocals and verbal content, the instruments do all the work including singing the blues on the opening track. Tension mounts with the arrival of the dark drums and when ghostly vocals kick in at the three minute mark, the song turns spooky. Both dubstep and alternative rock are thrown in for good measure towards the end and it’s a varied mishmash of a start.
Casually moving onto Body Clock, which is a more traditional pop track. The offbeat backing gives it an edge while the 80s-esque repetition continues throughout and indeed, into the following song. Mellow atmospheric drones and the continuing chimes switch into a closing section of incredibly creepy suspense music, ideal for illustrating a mental dark, deserted wood. Indie vocals break it up a bit but the guitar solos are incredibly exposed and the stark sensation it creates really resonates.
The 80s disco sound comes on in Rawdon Fever and the retro is carried through the impressive, fast guitar playing. It’s funky, cool and ticks all the musical boxes for the trendy hipsters of today. The complex guitar solo is repeated several times and although, it’s sparse on vocals again, it’s a perfect party anthem. It’s probably best discussed amongst musicians, who can comment on the true skill involved in the instrumentals.
Longest track Boxed In is eight minutes of constant melancholy through a drone, which does appear to drag a little. It’s not for everyone, due to the monotonous nature of it but to the right ears, it’s very ominous. The addition of chimes give it a celestial slant and it becomes rather other-worldly. If it doesn’t lull you to sleep, you’ll eventually have hazy visions of aliens walking slowly towards you, as Boxed In seeps through you like a dark feeling of terror. Be warned -it’s not for the faint-hearted!
Closing the EP on Mama Aniseed, a cheerful pop intro with lots of traditional indie threads, it ends up being a pretty rounded record. It actually bears some resemblance to recent Vaccines work and with soft toy-soldier drum beats and the return of the rippling chimes, it’s a similar sound to the opening. Incorporating multiple genres and with a strong guitar focus, Mama Aniseed is probably the bulk of the big hit potential on the EP.
Ninetails aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but if you want to hear some stripped back, raw musical talent, then they’re a band for you. You won’t find much lyrical content but for those cool enough to interpret the sounds, you’ll get an awful lot from listening to this record.