Larsen B's four track EP has an air of openness about it - rolling hills, green fields and blackberry bushes. The inspiration of a life growing up in a rural Hertfordshire village has obviously rubbed off. It has that country feel, without being remotely ‘country' - a Grandaddy or one of the ever popular Swedish groups taking over the world at the moment.

Its warmth is a far cry from the chilly landscape where the band's name is taken - a section of an Antarctic ice shelf once given a mention by British Sea Power (maybe it was BSP and not the icy landscape that was the inspiration - who knows?). Whatever. Si, Paddy and Bagz took to a 16th Century barn to create this cheery collection.

Opener Marilyn is a snappy and melodic number, with a beautifully simple chorus rich in harmonies. Its military drums and twee guitar - a sound that could become boring with so many musicians following suit, but not just yet - add an exciting foundation to the sweetness. And the juicy, thick vocals continue in Year of the Rat, with its slight west coast feel and tinge of far eastern lands.

There's a change of pace with the Kinks-soundalike If I Know You. At just one minute one second long, it's like the Ringo track - slightly out of place, a complete change of pace, a different sound altogether, but one you appreciate nonetheless. Images of far away lands return for final track Tailgate. Its repetitious melody trots on, building until ramshackle drums pick up the pace, turning the sound much more epic. The rolling hills have grown into mountains and the idyllic English village seems a thousand miles away. It's enjoyable, pretty, soothing and engulfing, although not unique.

Marilyn makes me want to hear more. With bands such as the Ruby Suns, Caribou and Loney Dear making waves, or at least ripples, with a similar, if not more inventive, sound, it will be interesting to see what this trio can do with a whole album's worth of material.

- Gemma Hampson



Larsen B

1. Marilyn
2. Year Of The Rat
3. If I Know You

7" single

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