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EP REVIEW: Cautioners, Conditional Identity

cautionersepTITLE: Conditional Identity
BAND: Cautioners
LABEL: Scylla Records
RELEASED: June 10th 2013

Bristol indie trio Cautioners were brought to my attention this week, described as suitable for fans of Death Cab For Cutie and The Get Up Kids. Conditional Identity is their first EP and shockingly, they are yet to play a live show. Despite this, they have got themselves a great reputation in Bristol and the release of the EP is something that a lot of people have been eagerly anticipating.

They have already racked up a BBC Introducing appearance and a rave review from music site, Already Heard who said of them: “fantastic flag bearers for new music emerging in Bristol”. With all that praise, the record should be a winner.

cautioners-5Beginning with Staging Area which has a slow acoustic and drawling vocals. It is quite dirgey sounding but thankfully, it kicks up a little just before the two minute mark into a slightly alternative rock instrumental. A soft piano in the back is quite lullaby like and the repetitive backing plods on until the end with a violin thrown in. So many layers are at play and it really is an interesting track.

Moving on to The Build Up which has a strong funky drum beat and a gritty guitar with whispery vocals over the top. There is a definite indie theme instilled in the voice and the pop rhythm makes it a bit of a commercial, cool track. The most interesting part is definitely the drum which is quite unpredictable and you never know where it’s going to go next. Towards the end, the song gets more rock-based and the chimes at the end leave you with an eerie feeling.

My favourite track on the EP is Iteration V which is melodic indie pop with spooky monotones backing it up. The contrast in emotions makes for a lot of intrigue into what the band are trying to achieve with it. The vocals are very exposed until the drums and bass appear and it does take on a kind of emo tone. Off Piste comes next and it is the only track that uses electronica. It starts by mixing with a haunting organ which is joined by calming, swaying vocals. The instrumental is atmospheric and has to some pretty impressive riffs in it with the electronic spirals darting in between.

Perhaps the song that I think could be better is Man Of Science. I think it’s too long a song to be pretty much all on one level and it’s so repetitive. It reminded me of Hoobastank a little bit, (it’s that kind of emotional indie) but on the whole, it was the one that I wanted more from. The closing track Petrichor has a spacey intro mixed with a funky rhythm, which automatically makes it pretty cool. The vocals float through the drum-led backing and when it launches into an alternative instrumental, it changes into a great end track with an eerie piano at the end.

It is a great debut EP with a fair few elements to it. Not the most energetic or lively of records but it is good chill-out music with a lot to say for itself. No doubt their live shows will be huge successes due to the love they’ve already amassed.

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