Negative Space‘s self-titled EP was released on the 15th of March, 2016. It doesn’t sound like it, though; it’s got a new wave vibe straight outta the eighties. If you close your eyes while listening to their EP, you wouldn’t be far off if your first thought was, “Damn, these Joy Division boys really like their speed.”
The opening track, vibrantly titled “A1,” kicks in with an intro that sounds lazy and laid back, but isn’t. I love the chromatic intro that opens up the meat-and-potatoes portion of the song. The dissonant guitar work highlights the work of bassist Ross, rather than detracting from it. It’s an up-tempo jam; it’s final-stage boss fight music.
The second song, stunningly titled “A2,” starts with a good run by Ross and a jungle beat on the drums by James. Reece lets the song build before coming in with a droning vocal line. It sounds like he’s shouting underwater. It’s hypnotizing, but by the end of the second song it has started to lose me. He sings on-key, which is nice, but his range is rather limited. Within the confines of the songs it works. He does what he does well, it’s just not my bag. This is the part of the review where you should stop reading, give their EP a listen, and then come back and tell me if I’m wrong or right.
It’s a short EP, with only four songs, so here’s where we must flip the vinyl to give the last two songs a listen. Vinyl is the only way you can get your hands on a physical copy of the EP, so if your nightmare includes being stuck as a short order cook with a hundred hamburger order to prepare, you may want to stick to listening to them digitally.
The third song “B1” is more laid back than the others, but remains similar in style. It’s got a thick, running bass line with some hanging guitar, jogging drums, and moaning vocals. At 0:38, a weird time signature shift begins with an odd melody snuggled in there for good measure. It works to draw you further in, until the song ends with some resonating cymbal crashes.
The final song, “B2,” starts with frantic drums and bass. I hope you enjoy the riff because it’s the crux of the song. What I especially like about it is that while the riff is the same, it’s done differently for each iteration. It keeps things interesting.
Since recording their self-titled EP, they have changed singers to a gentleman named Thom. I wonder what he sounds like? More of the same vocal styling, or completely different? I won’t have to wait too long to find out, as they are already working on a follow-up LP.
These cats hail from the UK, but wouldn’t mind touring Canada if someone would be ever so kind as to buy them some plane tickets. I have it on good authority that they love baseball; hopefully, we can get them to play during the seventh inning stretch for the next Expos home game.
Written by Aaron Deck
*edited by Kate Erickson