There was a time when ‘Chair Legs / Air! Displace This Smoke’ would have melted my brain; a time before I realised that a song with changing and fractured time signatures and rapidly transmogrifying can, behind the surface, be just as predictable and ordinary as one that is happy to rest on 4/4 and move easily from verse to chorus and back again.
Both songs on The Little Explorer’s latest release, a Double A-side single that clocks in at just over eight minutes overall, tend to suffer from a forced, and most often failing, approach to take the listener by surprise, with acapella vocals and punches of distortion interlinking with the main melodies of the songs. Neither of the songs are essentially bad, they just tend to gently tread the waters that Youthmovie Soundtrack Strategies caused tsunamis with on tracks such as ‘Spooks The Horse’ and ‘Ores’.
Those looking to escape the constraints of straight-up post-hardcore may find interest in The Little Explorer’s weaving, knowingly off-center music, but anyone familiar with the previously mentioned YMSS or fellow Midlands based outfit The Lucida Console will find nothing of interest here. A shame, because behind it all you feel that with a little more magic and less mechanics The Little Explorer would be capable of so much more.
6Jordan Dowling's Score