Auckland four-piece Tablefox’s ‘Glass Houses’ EP opens with its title track. It’s instrumental, save for some murmuring of voices in the background.
There’s something a little mysterious about it, a sort of downbeat Polyphonic Spree meets upbeat Interpol. Underlying the whole track are recurring loops of motifs that weave it all together.
Then, in a moment of seeming tonal disconnect, the second track comes along. Nothing Ever Changes is (in fact) a total change of pace, and really, of genre. From something a little ambiguous, less willing to be pigeon-holed, here’s something that is decidedly rock.
That’s not to say it’s a bad thing – heck, good rock can be hard to come by at times. It feels like it should match up to a video of lovelorn teens running towards each other through suburbia – in a good way.
The juxtaposition between those first two tracks is jarring. Especially given the lack of vocals in Glass Houses, meaning there is not even the connecting tendril of the sound of one distinctive voice to connect the two.
There’s less of a shift to track three, but the most curious thing about Under A Broken Smile is the fact that it heralds the part of the record where it genuinely sounds like it could be Bono singing.
Track four, Let Me Go, has very much that same feel again.
There are the shades of Interpol that came through in the first track, as far as the instrumentation goes, but those swelling Bono-esque vocals continue.
The EP wraps up with Beautiful Morning, a mellow, much more acoustic track that still manages to carry a decent textural element. “A beautiful morning is dawning for you and me, my love,” is a sweet, if slightly trite lyric to repeat in the chorus. All in all, a good, if confusing EP, but if you really don’t like U2 this may not be one for you. • Briar Lawry
“A beautiful morning is dawning for you and me, my love,” is a sweet, if slightly trite lyric to repeat in the chorus. All in all, a good, if confusing EP, but if you really don’t like U2 this may not be one for you.