Hot Vestry - Dust EP - review by Danny Fella

Before we even begin to consider our stance on this EP, you have to take into the account the fact that the three members are aged only 16. From this young age, they are showing all the right signs of a band that could aspire to bigger things. This potential is reflected right the way through Dust EP, producing a consistently promising and inscrutable sound.

The guitar parts on this record could easily relate to fellow Northern indie bands such as Oasis and Arctic Monkeys, but they seem to have taken this comparison further, adding zest and life to what could quite easily have been just another boring EP. This balance really works, and there is the added element that Hot Vestry are never scared to mix up the pace. There is a tentative balance within each track, which never stays at one pace.

It has to be said that this record does seem to hold a strong reliance on the musical capabilities of the three members as opposed to the vocals, which do appear to get a bit lost at times. However, some serious promise does emerge from this band, as the progress they have made from previous releases such as Magic Circle and Hijack is nothing if not noticeable. These past releases seemed to lack potency at times, whereas with this record, they have managed to not only attract our attention, but to keep us interested until the very end.

Opening track ‘Dust’ cleverly builds up from a gently synth laden melody to a rock track heavily reliant on its catchy riff. It sets up the EP nicely, inviting the listener to enjoy its raw feel, which evokes a real feel of natural talent. It is greatly apparent that this EP is in no way overproduced. It gets down to its most basic elements – with a little bit of extra help from the synths – and does it well. ‘Turn On’ delivers another long and carefully constructed intro which holds our attention until we are hit with a barrage of fast-paced guitar riffs and carefully placed bass patterns. However, ‘Snakes In the Grass’ is potentially the only real weak point to this album. With an intro reminiscent of Greenday’s ‘Whatsername’, it seems to be the one track that lacks quite as much of a tendency to impress as the others. Nonetheless it is still a well-designed track.

‘Blood for Tears’ is by far the funkiest song on the album, featuring a bass-line that could have been taken straight from a Chili Peppers number. This track shows Hot Vestry’s ability to mix things up, proving that rather than feeling tied to a specific genre, they are willing to experiment further and include more diverse influences; promising news from such a young group of musicians. ‘Be the Real Man’ is very much a ‘Northern’ track, strongly suggesting influences from a more recent Arctic Monkeys. Heavily accented with dark and mysterious guitar parts, this provides an interesting change from the tone of the rest of the record.

In contrast to the other tracks on Dust EP, ‘Commiserations’ is a slightly heavier song, with peaks of raging guitar noise falling into delicate riffs over and over, creating rolling waves of noise. It is a well composed, short and sweet closing track, worthy of providing an end to an EP full of promise.

All in all this is the sort of EP that – although far from being perfect – has the raw feel of a young band on the brink of breaking into the musical scene. Hot Vestry are definitely one to watch.

For fans of: Arctic Monkeys, Oasis, The Wombats



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