Friday, 17 September 2010

Codes In The Clouds - Paper Canyon Recycled

When Codes In The Clouds escaped obscurity in 2007, having signed to Erased Tapes, I was quick to write them off. Being a huge fan of instrumental music or dare I say it, post-rock, at the time I found myself at ease coining them as Explosions In The Sky-lite or perhaps This Will Destroy You Mk II, but this was perhaps just more my opinion as they seemed to gather more and more praise with their debut album 'Paper Canyon'. A year on, Codes In The Clouds are gearing up to release a new set of material upon our ears but before then, this, 'Paper Canyon Recycled', a collection of remixes by fans and fellow artists of tracks from their debut release.

Strangely enough for me, the first track, 'Don't Go Awash In This Digital Landscape' by Paul Mullen of Yourcodenameis:milo fame is completely mind blowing but then it is closer to a Yourcodenameis:milo track than one of Code In The Clouds, seething between beautiful bright guitar work before it explodes into guitar distortion and emotional howling, it is perhaps the one thing that Codes In The Clouds don't have that really sets this track apart from the rest on this album, vocals.The problem I have with the rest of the album is, that aside from the odd electronic element here and there, it's all quite obvious and predictable, infact, it could almost be as if that were the original song, un-touched. There is no doubt that this release is beautiful in parts(just listen to the final track 'The Distance Between Us' by Nils Frahm) and that it is well written also, but is this offering anything new from the debut release, no not really and is this offering anything new for instrumental music fans, once again, no not really. Maybe Codes In The Clouds should really have taken a leaf out of the Explosions In The Sky book, because the remix version of their album 'All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone' was something to really be inspired by. Please avoid this unless you are a massive fan.

2 / 5

Codes In The Clouds

Tall Ships - There Is Nothing But Chemistry Here

Tall Ships are back! I can actually write that and people will actually know who I am talking about. After some successful support slots playing with one of my favourite bands Minus The Bear alongside their own UK tours, they have managed, somehow, to fit in the time to record a new EP entitled 'There Is Nothing But Chemistry Here' which will be supported by tours with both Tubelord and also 65daysofstatic.

It's nice to see a band come on leaps and bounds since their debut EP, first track 'Plate Tectonics' oozes in its indie confidence complete with thank christ, vocals. The vocals are hardly Whitney Houston but they are endearing and not too far from what we would expect from Jake Snider of Minus The Bear fame. Second track 'Chemistry' is perhaps what Tall Ships were always missing before, a real single that deserves to be played on the radio, its jagged art-indie intro making way for a more subtle Tall Ships sound complete with the sing-a-long lyrics "There is nothing but chemistry here and with that in mind we have nothing to fear". Its gently built melody is exactly what the likes of Foals should be looking to create. 'Ode To Ancestors' has one of those moments, where my heart goes into my mouth and I wonder if Tall Ships are going to ruin the mood by going from something beautiful into something a little sea shanty and humourous like they would have in the past, but they surprise me and the off beat melody that comes in somehow adds to the song. 'Snow', possibly my least favourite on this EP is filled with electronic drums, colourful guitar melodies and bright keyboard melodies, it also sees a slight experimentation in terms of vocals, moving slightly away from the baritone of the previous tracks, which is a lovely addition.

It's easy to see how much Tall Ships have grown. 'There Is Nothing But Chemistry Here' is a mature indie release and if given the right publicity, there is no reason why this EP can't put Tall Ships on the map, sitting beside the hard-working bands they tour with and maybe even higher and onto the mainstream charts like the likes of Foals have achieved.

4.5 / 5

Tall Ships Myspace