This is a review of "Tonnerre Et Wah EP" recorded by The Acutes. The review was written by Jonny Mawson in 2011.
The Acutes have kept a surprisingly low profile in the past couple of years, after 2006's 'When I Left Work Today' and 2007's 'Set On You' singles they seemed to disappear as many unsuccessful indie bands of the past few years have done, so when this EP was announced it caught us all by surprise.
First track 'All I Said' sounds like a classic Acutes song, complete with jazz style drumming and a clean twangy guitar tone, mixed brilliantly with the near mono-tonal but still emotional vocals of singer/guitarist, David Kitchen. The EP then leads into 'Satisfaction', a track which manages to be in your face and still chilled out and relaxing at the same time, due to the brilliant combination of clean guitar and loud drums, towards the end of the track there is repetition of the tracks title at a slower tempo to the rest of the song, which really ends the song well.
Next track 'The Soap Lady' could almost be a song by The Libertines with the high pitched guitar triad chords and hi hat heavy drums, Kitchen's low pitched vocals contrast the high pitched melodies very well. Next up is the EP's highlight 'Listen Up', an almost disco style track at first with a classic 70's style disco beat/7th chord guitar combination. The guitar leads into a line which is reminiscent of the vocal track of their 2007 song 'Set On You'.
'Listen Up' is a song with great lyrical content about a girl who has just suffered the end of a relationship, and through the lyrics the song becomes somehow more relatable, or is that just me talking from personal experience?
The intro of next track 'Pop' is almost like a sped up version of opening track 'All I Said', but when you get into this song, which is the shortest on the EP, you can tell a heavy influence of Pulp, this is by far The Acutes most Britpop moment ever, and they pull it off very well. Then we move into penultimate track 'Mountain Of Friends'; on the surface it is a cheery song, but as we move into the chorus and hear the lyrics "your mountain of friends will all die, and the ashes they leave will be bone dry" this happy illusion is quickly shattered, leaving you quite sad into the EPs ending track 'Hasta La Vista'.
'Hasta La Vista' is a perfect ending track for this EP, at nearly 5 minutes long it encompasses everything which I enjoy about this band, strange drumming patterns, clean treble heavy guitar sounds and, towards the end, David Kitchens great voice, sounding surprisingly high pitched compared to the rest of this EP, but still managing to stay in tune and sticking to the feel of the EP, ending lyric "hasta la vista, and forever after, i will spend my time outside" is a perfect way to end this EP.
All in all 2010's 'Tonnere Et Wah' is a brilliant return to form for the Leeds duo, and a brilliant EP all round.