Hear The Track HereIt amazes me that the 'umble EP has gained such elasticity. Within the past two years I have reviewed EP's consisting of 11 tracks right down to three (this one). See, the weird thing is that I remember the original vinyl EP's which - for some obscure reason - were always four tracks. Never more, never less. EP stands for Extended Play and when the single record was king and LP's (Long Players surprisingly enough) were only for the exceedingly rich, most of us plumped for the EP because of its value for money. I must have missed The Ran Tan Waltz's first EP - Democracy Has Been and Died - although they were given some very positive reviews on it by the looks of it. The Waltzers are from Wakefield, deep in the heart of Yorkshire which has thrown up a few bands of note in the past. (Ed: you sure about that?) The band proudly state on their MySpazz page 'There is a tradition of intelligence, integrity and ambition in rock music which seems to have been forgotten', a sentiment I heartily agree with. In fact the only place I see such intelligence and integrity these days is right here, on the net.
A four piece, Matt, Sean, Chris and Pete (collectively Ran Tan Waltz) sound, to me anyway, typically English, from the histrionic proto-punk vocals to the weedy guitar production so favoured by so many indie bands. It also sounds quite professional too, at least in terms of recording and production. I wouldn't be surprised to find out it was made (on the cheap of course) in the local studio during 'down' time. So, no production twists and turns, but what you get in place is a very solid, straight ahead recording of a band who are feeling their way into their own sound. Course it would all turn to **** in their hands if the songs themselves weren't up to scratch and that is where The Ran Tan Waltz score most - provided that you like the rock/punk approach that is.
For a long, long time my own tastes in English music were shaped by the late, and much missed, John Peel. If anyone kept this particular sound alive over the years since punk first happened it has to be St John of the Beeb. As such, I think he would have loved this because these three tracks would have been right up his street. Seeming lo-fi and (sometimes) quite ramshackle, material like this tends to work its way inside without you really being aware of it. My favourite, right now, is England Isn't Mine both lyrically and musically, if their was any justice this should really get a real world UK release. A very nice introduction then, to this obviously new band, and one I will probably be following up in further releases. It will be interesting to see where these guys are going from here.
Excellent English Indie. Highly Recommended.