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EP Review: Landslide EP by Arcane Roots

Arcane Roots release their new EP Landslide on 14th September via Easy Life. As the band announced their breakup (due after their run of shows) last week, this EP has the feel of something special, the last chance to hear new material from the band.

We’d advise caution. If you didn’t already know, this is three reworkings of songs from last year’s Melancholia Hymns and one new track – all in the electro theme. This isn’t quite the Arcane Roots you’ve come to know and love.

From front man, Andrew Groves – “It’s rare for us to be able to show another side of a story, to re-tell it in a new light or illuminate layers or facets that were previously just nuances. Records can take a great deal of time and require many moving parts to align before release, so when the opportunity arose to record an addendum to Melancholia Hymns, we leapt at the chance. When we finished writing Melancholia Hymns it felt as though we had only just become fluent in a new language, one that had both expanded our vocabulary and our appetite for its application. During its creation, Melancholia Hymns became so burdened with ideas and desires that we had to exercise a great deal of restraint as to which components we felt should rise to the surface. Understandably, it was then with great satisfaction that we re-opened the doors to those buried elements to reveal a little more of the hard work within the record.”

‘Before Me (Over)’ takes the opening track from Melancholia Hymns and manages to suck all the life out of it – it doesn’t go anywhere and you’re left waiting for something to happen. There’s plenty of glitchy electronics but they don’t provide an interesting alternative. ‘Matter (Revel)’ proves a little more successful with some interesting subtleties and the electronics providing a droning atmosphere. It’s not a patch on the original though. You’d expect ‘Landslide’ to fare better as it’s not a reworking and it does hint that there could have been some longevity in this being a new direction but there’s something missing. It’s closer to the original Arcane Roots style than the other three and somewhat marries the angular rock and electronic tones, yet it feels like a B-side. ‘Off The Floor (Fade)’ is a complete reimagining of the MH original and is a bigger departure than the other two. We loved the original so it’s hard to get onboard with this version, even viewed as a new entity it lacks momentum and feels like they’ve tried to cram in as many ideas as possible without any filter.

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