EP Review: Perfect Body / Zac White - 'Split EP'
The art of the split EP is often a forgotten one. Dating back to a time when physical was the only form of release and it wasn't cheap. Now that it's cheaper than ever to release music the split EP has seen both some decline and a resurgence. November sees this lost format resurrected by two noisy acts out of Cardiff. The first half is handled by Perfect Body, a pschy, shoegazey beautifully noisy band, while Zac White takes care of side 2, filling it with noisy pop the likes of which is rarely seen.
Side A opens with Getting Cold. A steady rhythm section keeps the track in line while the guitars come and go between lush, reverb soaked and discordant, swirling putting things on edge. The track drifts in its territory between the likes of Alvvays and Slowdive with clear influence from shoegaze mainstays My Bloody Valentine as well, influences that remain prominent but tasteful throughout. Dreamy vocals litter the track, adding to the cavernous feeling of the track and pushing it that much further into gorgeous territory.
Fields, the bands new single, is next. Draped in chorus and weirdness, the track is a hazy trip through a strange sonic landscape, littered with all kinds of guitar work and strange sounds. Male and female vocals mix on the track to great effect, adding another texture to the already diverse sonic palette. It drifts at its own pace, picking up in parts but still maintaining its key characteristics. Noisy guitars flooded with feedback join in, it’s like a party in a cavern that you can’t see all the way to the back of. Once it’s over, Side A is closed out by Tribe of Mine, a track more obviously utilising keys than the previous tracks. The track keeps the themes of the previous two tracks going with a keen sense of atmosphere and ambience, rounding out the three tracks nicely.
Spent On You opens side B, a perfectly poised noise pop track that's pleasantly rough and weirdy where it needs to be while maintaining a strong and melodic core. Easy going vocals top solid instrumentation Not just a track, but a sound that feels destined for big things. Depth meets straightforwardness in a beautiful harmony as the track transitions from weird to raucous with guitars building out until the end.
Nuclear Splinter kicks straight in, showing you just how noisy Zac can get. Despite it’s boisterous attitude a solid melody can still be found within this sub 2 minute romp, it’s brevity being part of its beauty. The noise dies down for the contrasting Sirhan Sirhan, a surf tinged song which incorporates a multitude of experimental choices from the percussion to added instrumentation. It’s so well thought out in a way that implies serious experience. There’s more than enough to sink your teeth into here for repeated listens.
Waltz 3 closes out the release with it’s simple, moody beginnings. Instruments begin to join in, giving the song more momentum until it breaks for a moment, returning this time more jangly and with a sharper groove. It builds and builds with distortion and layers growing. It’s an end that only Zac White could have provided.
All in all, this split showcases two prime examples of fresh, noisy, out there music from the close knit Cardiff. One that should not be missed, even if like me you might not have heard of them before now. The EP comes out November 23rd on multiple formats!
Words by Nathan Blackstone