‘Careful! It’s Tepid’ is the last part of the band’s so-called Triple Burst trilogy. Matt Baber (keys) and Joff Winks (guitar, vocals) are collaborating since their schooldays. The basics for this recordings come from early sessions. For what reason ever ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS’ masterminds recently decided to close this chapter forever and ever – accompanied by the intention to go forward with a new project called ‘Sanguine Hum’. Hence the band’s legacy finally consists of three EPs recorded during a relatively long lapse of time. A planned full CD album could not be realized though.
Anyhow – at least the last two productions, together nearly reaching for an album length, are very interesting and have much to offer – short and compact songs, canterbury influenced, worth it to be intensively explored. Now the opener Leave Us A Message confirms this reminding me of Caravan. Just to point out Joff Winks’ acoustic guitar and wonderfully charming vocals, later synchronizing with Baber’s electric piano. A potential hit – only dedicated to the prog rock genre of course because evolving to a quite complex thing. And then they continue in a mellow mood, even enriched with some pop-appeal on the short The Foulness! The Stench!.
What also can be counted among the more laid back songs is The Bearded Bag Lady – decorated with some slight balalaika feeling and samples. Other tracks have much of a special trickiness. Dead Cheese is more referring to their predecessor EP (not only because of the song title). The band always emphasizes Frank Zappa’s influence on the compositions. Hmmh – probably I should name Gong too. Xylophone alike elements (key generated I assume), tribal percussion, slicing electric guitars, swirling piano, weird breaks and turns – this is all put together to a really enjoyable instrumental song.
Hatfield And The North meets Steven Wilson! Impossible? Just listen to Ointment For Flies – the longest and most playful track. It’s worth while to take enough time for the compositional aspect. A grooving fundament with several variations is leading, acoustic and heavy guitars are acting simultaneously and Matt Baber appears restrained here offering well accentuated synthesizer, piano and xylophone impressions.
Maybe this is just because I didn’t reserve enough time to listen – I still prefer the predecessor ‘Double Egg With Chips And Beans’ though. As for my impression ‘Careful! It’s Tepid’ comes more relaxed in its entirety. What stays is this special harmony of all the instruments (including vocals). Anyhow – the most important thing is the new project hopefully continues on this way. Recommended – really well done!