Indie rock shimmers

London indie-rock six piece Eaststrikewest are an interesting prospect, a home-grown talent making epic, sweeping guitar tunes with mainstream appeal. “Wolvves” makes an immediate and impressive impact, instrumental opening track ‘God Can’t Take His Eyes Off Me’ is stunning; huge, soaring guitars batter you into submission and the melody is so sweet it takes you totally by surprise. It’s something of a disappointment then that track two ‘Stumble’ has vocals and that they are styled somewhere between Keane and Muse, the strings help to make it more epic and there is a moment near the end where a stop start rhythm from the guitars takes over briefly and there is a hint of brass in the background, but otherwise this is a very mainstream rock track suited to stadiums no doubt. With ‘Welcoming the Ghosts’ we are back into typical melancholic indie-rock territory; quiet-loud, shimmering guitar sounds, strings and plaintive vocals, it’s all very nice.

‘Chu!’ pulls the record back a bit, more of an interlude really; it’s just a quirky keyboard melody but makes you prick up your ears. ‘The Architect’ is another big track, emotive in all the right places, the guitars build through many crescendos and the vocals are very strong as they are all the way through. ‘Wolvves’ manages to cross that boundary between the epic instrumental and mainstream indie-rock very well making the more ‘extreme’ moments very accessible with those strong sing along vocal lines.

The album is very impressive, cinematic in scope, soaring and shimmering in all the right ways, they are obviously a talented bunch and vocally they have it nailed. It’s the tracks where the instruments are allowed to take control where they really shine though, whether that be the totally instrumental tunes like ‘God Can’t Take His Eyes Off Me’ or tracks like ‘Every Word And Whisper Said’ where the vocals take a back seat, just being allowed to back up the guitars and strings, rather than take over and dictate the song in these tracks (which are reminiscent of Godspeed You! Black Emperor at times) you are almost overwhelmed with the beauty and emotion created and it makes you wish they would do a whole album like this.