Old World Vulture

Artist: Old World Vulture
Title: Old World Vulture
Label: Self-released (Canada)
Details: DL/CD. 6 tracks, 24 minutes.

Instrumental rock / post-rock (call it what you will) has largely been disappearing up its own arse for years now. Most of it is a catalogue of tired clichés – predictable chord progressions, tiresome arpeggios, plodding tempos and quiet-loud dynamics so ubiquitous that they could be mass-produced in a sweat shop in China.

Toronto quartet Old World Vulture are very much a work in progress, but their debut EP manages to niftily avoid most of the obvious bear-traps. They keep a lid on the arpeggios for the most part, the tempos are largely reasonably upbeat, the keyboard is as much a lead melodic instrument as the guitar and although there are quiet bits and loud bits, they don’t follow each other in an obvious progression. Their musical DNA owes more to the likes of Grails and fellow Ontarians Do Make Say Think than to the rentapostrock crowd.

Destroyer is a dramatic and darkly operatic prologue to the main business. The remainder of the tunes all manage to accomplish their mission in under five minutes without letting the attention wander. The curiously titled Too Much Eye Make Up is perhaps both the best and the most typical of the band’s sound, with the bass providing the melodic framework while the keyboards and guitars both take their turn in the spot light before combining into a powerful finale that still manages to avoid the end-of-album-wig-out cliché. Another nice cover keeping up our birds of prey theme too.