Like opening an upside-down tin of beans, Keg spoons their latest offering out with as much grace and decorum as they possibly can. Last time we spoke to the band, we shone a spotlight on what they had to say with a very, very formal Q&A session - today we return with a review of their latest EP, Girders, which dropped on the fantastic, DIY, UK-based record label Alcopop last week.
As my previous metaphor suggests, the first song off this 6 track EP slops onto you slowly, beginning with the heavy-footed “5/4”. At first, I wasn’t a huge fan of the instrumental side of this song - mainly due to it’s slow, unrelenting nature. Yet lead singer Albert Haddenham absolutely belts it towards the end of the track and within the first 2 listens of this EP I’m sold on it. The first track oils you up, ready for a big old oil fight of an EP, listeners are warned to prepare themselves before consuming this record.
Peaks and troughs, my friends! The next song on the EP, the title track on “Girders”, is right up my street, with an instrumental which sounds like you took your grandad’s brass band to a Tortoise gig and they rushed back home, got changed into underwear and started rocking out. That first riff is totally, completely mental, great work from the entire brass section there too.
The weirdness of the band finds itself within “Sing Again”, with minimalist guitars drowning the bed of the track, and a very strangely produced vocal that looms over the top. It’s a great point for the EP to quieten down a little, there’s really great placement there within the record itself. The ending is fun and slips into a really nice outro, too.
Released as singles previously, the next two songs go real well together. The pulsating, vibrant rhythms in “Elephant” are what propels the song, leaving spaces in-between the notes as the band see fit, whilst in “Kids”, Keg present the lead vocals as their main attraction, with hilarious lyrics - the entire band revolves around them in this song. The two are on almost opposite ends of the Keg noise spectrum, which may be what makes them work so well together.
“NPC” has got a great prog feel to it, those funny little doom riffs at the start of the main part of the verses hit the spot, to be honest. And again, I really have enjoyed the vocals and production so much throughout this EP, I’m really impressed by how well Keg have honed their sound in such a small space of time.
In its entirety, however, I do feel like this isn’t peak Keg. They’ll go on to do much bigger things, but as it stands this is an outstanding EP that has secured itself just out of the common field of “post punk” with its shifting focus throughout, captivating vocals and joyous, magnetic songwriting.