Imagine yourself in a church and just as the organ begins to play the church suddenly sinks underwater and then just as you’re about to panic, you’re saved by a guitar riff that hauls you back to the surface. That’s pretty much the opening 10 seconds to the Aquarena EP from Black Books, a five-piece from Austin, Texas.
What follows on opener ‘Favourite Place’ is a song marked out by a hugely infectious sunlit chorus, which concludes with the wonderful: “I couldn’t breath, you’re exceptional”. A slow methodical drum track should drag the song down, but instead lifts it by making the melody more striking – it’s as if everything is shining a light onto Ross Gilfillan’s gruff-but-golden vocal. There are elements of Soundtrack of Our Lives in the track, and comparisons from this reviewer don’t get much more admirable than that.
Second track ‘White Noise’ opens with a riff that would be at home on a Bond soundtrack. The rest of the band build up around it, taking us to a crescendo before another catchy melody takes us off to a comfortable place under the Texas sun. Indie-pop may not be a description the band approve of, but this is accessible radio-friendly stuff with uplifting choruses
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