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Swim EP by Fell City Girl

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Reviewed on 22nd April 2006.


Swim EP

By Fell City Girl

Fell City Girl boast drama. And I mean drama. The kind of textured melodies reminiscent of some obscure New Zealand pop exercise by the name of The Veils. Oh and musical aesthetics, fostered by intricate guitar-led arrangements are paramount to this Oxford-quartet.

'Swim' EP, their first release on the somewhat innocuous label Lavolta, is a four-track sample of the four-minute ballad. The title track 'Swim' is forcefully reflective, boasting a flowing melody led by an unashamedly bold vocal performance. Singer Phil McMinn cites his inspiration as the closing sentences of novels; the kind which contain a world of emotion between a capital letter and a full stop. His songs are the self-proclaimed soundtrack in what is remains an anonymous love-affair.

It all sounds very serious. And it is. 'There Are Statues, I'm Told' picks up where the opener left off. Amidst pounding bass drum and a guitar-led crescendo that oozes warmth, Phil sings 'I have made a mistake that I swore I would never make'. The chorus of this number is Fell City Girl at their most powerful; the listener is propelled into an embrace of nondescript emotion by a subtle change of pace and a percussion climax.

Unfortunately, the second half of the EP does not deviate in sound, nor does it offer anything new. The final number, 'We've All Felt The Voltage' is nothing short of a part two to 'Swim'. This is not to deny the obvious merits of the song; I just wish they'd shown more depth. Courageous, heart-felt ballads may be a refreshing antidote to mass-produced synth pop, but four straight doses taxes the listener unnecessarily.

This EP shows promise, potential filled, and all the rest. But it also shows that Fell City Girl still have some distance left to travel if they are to distinguish themselves in what is an increasingly generic music scene.



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