ep review ~ 'wonderkid' ~ don't shoot

Name: Don't Shoot
Genre: Indie-Rock
For Fans Of: Glasvegas,The Front Bottoms, Arcade Fire
Location: Omagh//Glasgow

There's a beautiful nostalgia attached to 'Don't Shoot'. a band based somewhere between Omagh and Glasgow. Winner's of the latter's prestigious 'Sound Wave' music competition this year, they're a young band on an understandable high, and whilst one eye must surly be set on their future, debut Ep 'Wonderkid' cast's another back to simpler times of indie-rock gone by...

Opener 'Panic' feel's more like a gentle jog, than a sprint start, but within the confines of 'Wonderkid's gentle synths and sing along tendencies, seem's appropriate. Not shying away from the 'love//loss' prose at the heart of most great indie records ("She broke my head, then I lost my mind"), Don't Shoot display their pedantry for a great build up, with definite elements of A Plastic Rose ('Garavogue', 'Like A Phoenix', 'Two Steps')   percolating through. It's not an adrenaline fueled, barrier thrashing introduction, though you quickly realise that's not on the cards here. Extra kudos must go to this tracks appropriately blunt ending ~ fade outs of feedback and shimmering drums may have just pushed things into cliché territory.

Moving on, and 'Don't Shoot' suddenly find their rhythm with the pulsatingly brilliant title track, 'Wonderkid'. Taking the melodic indie rock of bands like Dexters, Yuck and even this year's buzz band Catfish and the Bottlemen, 'Wonderkid' see's the addition of some fine piano work and drag's it straight into the 21st Century; not before making a detour to 1982 first though!

Whilst music's endless possibilities are frequently discussed by Encore NI and should come as no surprise, it's always interesting when something as subtle as a slight deviation from a melody can have a lasting impact on an entire record; and so it proves here, as the line "she thinks I'm some sort...of Wonderkid" rings out louder than any other on the whole Ep. It's a track of uplifting gravitas and the first real clue as to this band's potential.

Though follow-up 'Hollywood' lacks it's predecessor's catchy verse's, it makes up for it with a sonic stability that rests upon those reappearing synths. It's a balancing act difficult to get right, though Don't Shoot really manage it here. Imagine Scottish counterparts The Twilight Sad slightly less, well, sad. There's some nice things going on here for sure. The riff upon which the song is built sounds good, if a tad dragged out. The harmonies are positively Arcade Fire and ring out wonderfully, elevating parts of this tune to the near epic standards it aims for. On this occasion though, they fall just short.

Any Ep closer will inevitably fall under more scrutiny. It's a big ask, to close the door on the way out and take the listener home. Here we find Don't Shoot opting for the Bright Eyes approach, all low-fi fuzz and acoustic delicacy. Thankfully, it works and 'Rules' gentle harmonies and hollow production fits the vibe well. Although the band can't be blamed for wanting to bring in the drums and electric guitars to end things, you feel they may have missed a trick here. There's no doubting 'Rules' is a beautifully written song, though this may been one to keep purely acoustic, as the songs beginning is more enjoyable than it's end.

If 'Don't Shoot' can narrow down their influences, even a tad, we could have a really special band on our hands. 'Wonderkid' justifies more than one listen.

Taylor Johnson


  1. Hells yeah some recognition for, in my opinion, a great wee ep.

  2. Hells yeah some recognition for, in my opinion, a great wee ep.


Powered by Blogger.