Have the Welsh done it again?
Opening track 'Perfect Numbers' is an accomplished number evoking comparisons with bands like Million Dead, an up beat chunky number it's not a bad start at all for this Welsh bands second EP. Whilst solid it's not stand out in the sense that it sounds quite similar to many other bands around at the moment, clean vocals with a stop, start rhythm backing it's not intense but it's loud enough to capture the interest. It builds quite nicely without ever really taking you over the edge but it's a solid base to build on and surprisingly doesn't hint at what's to come later.
'We're Not What You Think We Are' follows and starts with a mellow intro before breaking into a good melodic sing a long chorus. The production is excellent and in particular highlights the vocals, which really work well between the mellowness of the verse where they are accompanied by some unobtrusive but competent backing vocals. The chorus is the highlight here though, not quite anthemic but surely a definite crowd pleaser and superior to the opening track.
'Feel Like Space' is mid paced and has a mellower feel throughout, again not dissimilar to Million Dead but with a much cleaner and polished guitar sound. Once again building to a good chorus it's a tight tune but never really delivers the killer hook. What Adzuki lack at the moment is a touch of rawness and power that would take their music to another level and really engage the listener but with an average age of 18 they are at the start of their creative process and they're certainly not off to a bad start by any means.
'Quiet Sounds and Simple Actions' continues in similar vein with a slow unassuming verse but as it continues this really becomes the stand out track. The dynamics and the arrangement of this track really do stand out and hint at a mature songwriting style that will surely be developed on future releases. It builds slowly but moves into a really accomplished ending backed with synth strings over layered with some decent wah wah guitar and if anything it finishes too soon, despite being the longest track!
The real hidden gem here though is the GHP remix of 'We're Not What You Think We Are'. This really is excellent, adding an almost drum and bass backing to the track and really emphasising the vocal work and guitar parts (including bass) far more than the original version. The remix is catchier and far more engaging and suggests that it would do the band no harm to inject a little more of this style into the rest of their work.
Overall it's a firm basis to build on but with varying styles on offer Adzuki perhaps need to think long and hard about the market they're after. With a plethora of similar sounding bands around at the moment they have the chance to create something special or to become just another good band that never quite lived up to their potential. It will be interesting to see which path they take!