Ex-Easter Island Head – Mallet Guitars Three

October 3, 2013

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Here’s the new offering from Liverpool based ensemble Ex Easter Island Head and the third instalment in their Mallet Guitars series. If you think of combining mallets and guitars, you have an idea of how it will sound. No, it’s not ultra violent and out of control, like you’d imagine it could be, but a more refined experiment in an alternative way of playing guitar. If it was me, the temptation would be too much and it would become maximalist, nonsensical string bashing, rather than thought out song structure. Guess that’s why I’m not in the band.

The four tracks here continue on from what came before, further exploring the dynamics of this simple sounding set up. Rather than just guitars and mallets, we have a diverse range of accompanying sound to envelop and hold together the centrepieces of the tracks. Highly rhythmical passages act as a strong contrast to the slow, dense drone that hangs in the backdrop. There’s an almost Reich-esque feel to some of the rhythms and I found it hard not to pretend I had my own mallet and guitar (hand and table) in front of me. The heady repetition of the rhythms seems to allow time to slow down, letting you sit in a daze as the music passes by. I like anything that makes me switch off from the world. I like Mallet Guitars Three.

A thoroughly different and enjoyable way to consume this traditional instrument. I’d suggest listening to Mallet Guitars 1 & 2 before the release of this, just to gain some perspective and see where the sound has developed from.

Mallet Guitars Three is out via Low Point Records on 21st October 2013

You can stream the album on the Low Point band camp ahead of the release.

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