As the year drifts into the frenzy of Christmas and the clutches of 2014, Scottish band Emilio Largo recently gave it a striking parting gift in the shape of their excellent In Uniform We Divide EP. Consisting of four exciting and promise drenched tracks from a band which is beginning to generate a potent little buzz around themselves, the release is a riveting and imaginative exploration of math and alternative rock with plenty of other fruitful essences spicing up its temptation. Written over eighteen months the Mark Morrow of The Winter Tradition produced EP is a declaration of a band on a creative flight set to tempt and enslave a great many to its inventive presence, and certainly the release seduced our eager hearts.
The EP is the follow-up to debut single My Hopeless Question of late 2011 and a major evolution in sound and craft to that introduction. In Uniform We Divide employs the Edinburgh trio’s inspirations from the likes of The Mars Volta, Arcane Roots, and The James Cleaver Quintet into their own inspiring melodic and inventive sculpting. Consisting of former music students, vocalist/bassist Scott Waterson, drummer/vocalist Calum MacVicar, and guitarist/vocalist Joe Wyman who it has been announced as we write this review has just left the band, Emilio Largo has laid down a marker with their EP not only for the country to take notice of but for their own level of ideas and ingenuity. Strongly backing up their acclaimed performances with the likes of Arcane Roots, Tubelord, Bronto Skylift, Flood of Red, and Sucioperro over time, In Uniform We Divide is not a perfect release but cored by such potential in its definitely impressive invention and depths it only raises an eager appetite and suspicion of greater things to come.
The release gently strokes the ears with the beginning of In Uniform, the opener taking a reflective melodic guitar crafted entry before riffs begin to rub their design into the senses and rhythms crisply poke the ears into greater anticipation. Their awakening appetite is soon rewarded with a tempestuous surge of caustic and clean vocals which fly across the bows of the sonically bred enterprise seeping from the tall walls of the rhythmic enticement. The bass of Waterson is a dark provocateur alongside the lighter flames of the guitars and the cleaner vocal delivery, adding a great whisper of menace yet with an intriguing swagger which compliments the stroll of the track. As it moves through its inventive aural narrative there is a definite Reuben meets Baddies feel to the song and as the bass adds a funk mischief to its tantalising presence and the hooks become more jagged it is an outstanding start to the EP.
JudgeMental steps up next and instantly comes under another absorbing and irresistible prowl from the bass and intensive incendiary guitar play and riffing which with the squalling vocals has a definite Rage Against The Machine air to its antagonism. A contagious groove enters the affray soon after to accelerate the strength of the song’s potency and toxicity and though less than a minute and a half in length it is a thrilling avant-garde/math rock stomp reminding in many ways of Halfling’s Leaf. It short but triumphant persuasion is replaced by the much longer We Divide, the track also unafraid to mingle jazz and discord lit adventure with a progressive and intensive fusion of rock. The vocals again are varied and adventurous in their use but as found on the first song the purely clean vocals are weak in comparison to the other deliveries and the music. Certainly they are not badly delivered or poor but against the qualities breeding the heights in this mystique noir lit treat they pale a little too noticeably at times. It is a small issue to be fair though, the harmonies on the third track as spot on as any part of the creative maelstrom of imagination exploration.
The EP ends on another thrilling stomp in the rapacious shape of Disco Volante where the band turns to disjointed dancefloor teasing with a track which is like a stiff legged body jerking dance of noise and psyche rock brilliance. Imagine again Baddies in a conspiracy with Joy Division, We Are The Physics, and Fall of Troy, and you get a pungent whiff of the invention and contagion set to seduce your passions. Our favourite track on the EP, though all are sizeable contenders causing constant reappraisal of that nomination, it triggers another level of enjoyment. The In Uniform We Divide EP is a richly exciting and satisfying treat from a band in Emilio Largo which is easy to expect will be stepping forward to become a major contender in indie and alternative rock ahead.
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