The Glitter Gulch EP from Nine Black Alps is “a pure fan item”. You know you’re in trouble when the PR blurb tells you that, because it might as well sport a big sticker that screams, “everyone else will think this is a bit rubbish”.
Featuring four b-sides from previous 7” releases and two new songs, the Glitter Gulch EP is, in effect, four songs not good enough to make the cut for debut album Everything Is and two that probably won’t figure on their second long-playing effort. It’s not all bad though, even if early acoustic b-sides ‘Attraction’ and ‘String Me Along’ sound like cast-offs from Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged session. The highlights are the live favourites ‘Over The Ocean’ and ‘Ilana Song’, slices of grunge-lite grit-pop in the same vein as their best singles ‘Shot Down’ and ‘Not Everyone’, but with decidedly less catchy choruses. They borrow heavily, as ever, from their obvious grunge influences and bound around energetically, as though 90s pop-oiks Symposium had risen from the musical grave.
In terms of the new material, the previously-released-so-presumably-new version of ‘Never Coming Down’ is an acoustic-tinged soft-rock ballad which meanders along with atmospheric "oooo"-ing and "aaah"-ing, which is neither offensive to the ears nor memorable; uptempo closing track ‘Coldhearted’ meanwhile, recorded live judging by the applause at the end, sees Sam Forrest’s vocals stray so far from the concept of Being In Tune that it’s painful to listen to as he tries and fails to scale the heights of the chorus he's written. It’s an alarmingly bad end to an average CD, and if this is how they reward their “pure” fans, just imagine what they want to do to _you...
5ben marwood's Score