You have to admire this 4 track EP from Manchester's Nun. Whatever you feel about music, this massive, sprawling mini-epic is worth a listen if not to see just how far they push things. With great production quality, a bold and ambitious drive and some actual tunes, it's not bad at all.
'Ikea' starts with pretty piano motifs, moves through clattering drums, soaring vocals and an epic sound vista, which features plenty of contrasting ideas and instruments. It's oddly catchy in a way, but completely removed from anything you're likely to hear on an MTV2 special about the NME. Top marks for effort...
Track two, '6ixty' is a more downbeat and slightly darker affair, with its pumping rhythms, its stark, eerie sounds and its haunting refrains emanating from what sounds like the devil's music box. I think they were likened to film music in another review they had, and so if all the tracks here were films, then this is surely Evil Dead reworked with The Exorcist.
'Ode2' starts with a beautiful, ethereal soundscape, the kind Sigur Rós manage to pull off so convincingly. But this being Nun, they can't stay in one place for too long, and before you know it, it's all swirling riffs, fraught drumming and quite scary vocals. Sort of like a Tortoise house party with all members of the aforementioned Icelandic band present.
Last offering 'Hello To You' is perhaps the finest example of Nun's ability to completely alter their sound on a whim. All beautifully restrained riffs and downbeat strings weave in and out of one another to start with, which are then supplanted with some deranged guitar work and some eerie vocals (that's the only way to describe the singing, trust me) which are slightly reminiscent of techno-rock balladeer Martin Gretch. And then, just as easily as it started, it ends! A brief sample of some odd person mumbling, and that's it.
Nun are something special. Taking the 'post rock' label as far as it can possibly go without making an altogether new genre just for themselves, this EP is ambitious as it is completely refreshing, totally weird and completely brilliant.