UNKLE - Only The Lonely EP
Mon 11th Apr, 2011 Music Reviewsin
The ever-reliable revolving door act that is UNKLE have released a sumptuous EP in readiness for their Australian tour. Only the Lonely may only be five tracks long, but what it lacks in length it overflows with in depth. Renowned for their high-spec mixes and guest vocalists, UNKLE attracts vocals from the calibre of Thom Yorke, Josh Homme, Gavin Clark and Robert Del Naja, who have all donated their chords to the UK (now) two-piece. Only the Lonely is no different – Liela Moss, Gavin Clark, Rachel Fannan and Australia’s own rock royalty Nick Cave all appearing on the EP.
Lead track Money and Run is delivered with grit and swagger thanks to Nick Cave’s passionate preaching. The driving force of the trip-hop bass is present in the slick production of the track, where cymbals are permitted to thrash whilst Cave’s vocals float in the background. One would be mistaken for thinking this was lifted from UNKLE’s lauded record War Stories, what with the fuzzy guitars and heavy chorus.
Guest vocal stalwart Liela Moss from The Duke Spirit contributes to the eerie The Dog Is Black. While the track has echoes of Radiohead and the industrial PJ Harvey, the operatic chorus and polished reverb are every bit UNKLE, with an almost-African beat.
The title track is an indulgent instrumental, which pales in comparison to the previous two tracks. This is most probably due to the quality vocals that lay within them; and with Cave to contend with, there’s simply no competition. Wash the Love Away is equal parts New Order and Filter, with the laconic Gavin Clark’s breathy vocals drifting above a lush background of keys and bass.
Former Sleepy Sun singer Rachel Fannan adds shaky depth to the closing track Sunday Song, which tends to lead on for a bit too long without the necessary hook. However, like even UNKLE’s weaker tracks, it is an absolute delight to absorb via headphones, allowing the listener to immerse themselves in the sheer layering of production that puts UNKLE above the rest.