Music Reviews
Plough More Sky EP

Grass House Plough More Sky EP

(Smackjaw Records) Buy it from Insound Rating - 9/10

There is somewhat of a dichotomous effect when your first EP — your statement of intent, your opening message to the world — is steeped in declarations of futility and defamation of man-kind. However, instead of inflicting distance or alienation, Plough More Sky welcomes the listener into its world, a world which amalgamates the sinister, twisted disposition of its lyrics with fruitful and often playful melodies that create a breeding ground for relentless invention and an almost tangible atmosphere.

On opener Cockroach the bass and drums merge to form a resonant growl that acts like the rumbling guts of the song as the guitars howl above the surface like wolves at the moon. It all culminates into glorious effect: the pounding drums merge with the rudimentary yet penetrating guitar hook and the layered duality of the vocals create an eerie yet almost uplifting finale. Our own inevitable decline never sounded so rousing.

Snowcones is a rollicking ride through a junkyard in a steamroller with a crazed man as your driver. It succeeds on many levels for many reasons.  It's esoteric and experimental without slipping into pomposity. The savage pace and structure of the song are matched seamlessly by the vehement, and at times demented, vocals.  They don't merely compliment one another, but carry each other.  Lyrically it's an open landscape, simply too vast to try and pin down.  However, themes of mortality, futility and existentialism run through its core like a ravaged river and it’s a pleasure to be carried along its path.

The opening guitar strums exude an ominous tone.  It’s the calm before the storm, the moment before the killer strikes and, in many senses, it's a funeral song, as indeed the EP is laid to rest at the Bottom Of The Sea. The diversity of both the band and Liam Palmer's vocals are furthermore demonstrated here, adding yet another seamless bow to their string. The song is a relentless tease, forever building and building until it explodes into a cathartic yet cohesive wall of noise and that sense of dread that plagued the preceding three minutes comes to fruition as the ship finally sinks.

As the ironic tinkers of Somewhere Over The Rainbow ring out the last seconds of the EP in a rather creepy fashion, it allows one to reflect. For a debut three song EP it's quite an achievement.  In fact, the songs show a level of refinement and audaciousness way beyond their formative infancy.  If this is just the beginning for Grass House, then their debut acts more like a warning shot fired from a cannon than it does a mere bang from a starter's pistol