Brighton’s indie noise outfit The Emperors of Ice Cream emerge from their winter hibernation with new cassingle
Last year The Emperors of Ice Cream released a Double A-Side 7” and an EP. These releases were chocked full of clever biting lyrics and inventive musicality. Needless to say they were both on a heavy rotation at thisyearinmusic towers. Then, as a lot of bands do over winter, they went quiet. This level of public inactivity isn’t anything to get worried about, as it usually means the band is holed up in some studio/bedroom/lounge writing and rehearsing. Then as the clouds parted and the sun beamed down, there was a note from the band, “New EP out soon”. The digital version of this EP, titled This Thing, has now been released, a physical cassette, or cassingle will be released in June. Joy!
This Thing kicks off with (The Night((Just Gotta) Make It Through)). The pace is fast, jaunty, primal and raucous. Instead of the usual verse-chorus-verse pattern, TEOIC subvert it by having a continuous chorus interspersed with a few verses/variations. This is refreshing to hear, as it shows that TEOIC understand popular music and at the same time don’t care. Clever Caveman follows this similar pattern. The main vocals are “Clever Caveman, Banging the rocks together”. They are catchy and coupled with the music, again primal and raucous, it works well to create an image of the band on the beach performing interspersed with them bashing the rocks and pebbles together. It’s the stand out track on the EP.As this is a semi live recording, Clever Caveman then segues into Took a Taxi with a peel of feedback. The title suggests this is about getting a taxi, but this isn’t actually true. Like the subverting of musical templates, now they’ve named the song something it has nothing to do with. Here TEOIC revert to more standard song writing, well in a verse-chorus-verse kind of way. Musically they seem fixed on pushing everything to it’s more basic and elementary. Overloaded bass and drums, with distorted guitars screeching everywhere they can find a space to penetrate the dense rhythm section. Middle Ground closes the EP. On a first listen it sounds like an extended outro of Took a Taxi as there isn’t much variation between the two. This is the weakest song on the EP, and feels like an afterthought after they realised they only had three songs.
The main problem with This Thing is that its either brilliant or blasé. While the lyrics are catchy, they aren’t really anything much apart from making it through the night, our ancient relatives were clever and it can be fun to walk around drunk in foreign towns. Which is a shame, as TEOIC have our attention, why not say something? Clever Cavemen seems to be the perfect analogy for the band. The lyric “Clever Caveman, Banging the rocks together” sums it up perfectly. Through their sneering vocals and troglodyte rock, is the joke on them? Are they the cavemen banging the rocks together or are we punchline as you’re sitting listening to it now? Whatever the answer is it will require more listens and ultimately isn’t that the point of this thing?