Gunning For Tamar – Time Trophies EP
Back in the days before downloads it was fairly common for a band to release two version of a single – one with b-sides and one with remixes, something that Gunning for Tamar have pulled together in this six-track release that combines three versions of lead track ‘Time Trophies’, along with a remix of second track ‘Chocolate Hooves’. More of these later.
So to ‘Time Trophies’, which starts with a blaze of drums and guitars that don’t let up until, well, they don’t let up. It’s fizzing with energy and drummer D’Arcy King must take a lot of credit for that. “I don’t know where I’m going yet, I don’t know what I’m saying,” sings Joe Wallis, laying himself bare, his voice pitching up somewhere between Brian Molko and Keli Okereke.
‘Chocolate Hooves’ is more thoughtful, and the guitar is allowed to have more presence through varying stages of the song that are more intelligent that just rolling through a verse-chorus-verse structure.
The intro to ‘Astronaut-Abort’ sounds like it could be coming from a different band, with a bass and piano intro that lifts into familiar territory when Wallis explodes into the track. It’s strong for what is essentially a b-side, and hopes are high that this can be replicated throughout a longer release.
The band are clearly fans of Bloc Party. Fundamentally though, Gunning for Tamar are a rock band wanting to do more than just play guitars, and it’s the remixes that make the EP really worth listening to.
Letting post-rock electronic outfit Maybeshwill remix ‘Time Trophies’ is a great move. The track emerges from its cocoon into a DFA-shaped butterfly, thumping its wings together as bassy synths collide with drum and vocal loops. The track builds euphorically around just a couple of lines and the song is transformed, utterly.
The Junior Johnny Foreigner Old School Owen Fromix remix of ‘Chocolate Hooves’ is less successful, and stagnates a bit through too much repetition.
Having being confirmed as ones to watch by Rocksound 2012, Gunning for Tamar will be hoping to emulate the rich history of Oxford bands. The jury is still out on whether that will happen, but there’s enough evidence in this EP to await the verdict with curious fascination.
Available now through Big Cartel
Posted by Kevin Scott
Tags: Alcopop, EP Review, Gunning For Tamar, Kevin Scott, Time Trophies