By Mechanical Owl
From the first time I switched this record on, I felt an instant comparison between Mechanical Owl and contempary Jakokoyak could be made. Jakokoyak may not be heard of in our parts, but is massive in Wales which is where Mechanical Owl originate - though they have been based in Leeds for a while now. For some unknown reason I decided to listen to this CD in reverse track order thanks to the magic of computer media players. In fact I could say it sounds like Wim Butler of Arcade Fire venturing into The Flaming Lips.
This EP creates soundscapes that are polyphonic and relaxing with an infusion of synths and acoustic drums and guitars letting a landscape of imagery flow freely into your mind. 'Our Loss Is Their Gain' is a masterpiece letting all our troubles be washed over in a feel good manner. 'Make it Last' opens with cool riffs and sounds like a Charlatans moment, yet feels totally original at the same time, making it for me the EP highlight. There is a definitive sound and something unique to Mike Payne, as he created this whole EP himself, doing the production and writing, and this EP is nothing short of genius.
Mike Payne has managed to do in an EP what as a musician I have always aspired to do, creating electro-impressionistic ideas wrapped in a comfortable familiarity in guitars and drums with the odd fancy effect. A wonderful EP that deserves praise.