Two-thirds rising from two-quarters of the ashes of the late, great math-pop behemoth that was Colour, Tangled Hair are 3 dudes from Kingston who make music. Except there’s a surprise – this music is outstandingly similar to the music they used to make. Yes, that’s right. No left-field hip-hop/polka side projects or black metal offshoots here. Tangled Hair sound like Colour.
The band are probably already getting pissed off with reviewers saying dat.
Let’s face it
Tangled Hair sound like Colour.
Except with more… Space.
Not just in the sense of four minus one equals 3 but in the sense of… It’s still math-pop, it’s still an epileptic wet dream, James Trood is still one of the very best and confusing drummers out there, but just with space to sit and think on a stump in the forest of riffs and fills. There’s hints of Enya, and ambient stuff. Slow down the intro to ‘Daylight #1’ and you can hear David Gray knocking softly on the doorknob. It’s less hasty. There’s time in between every note to breathe.
It’s a beautiful thing, and one reflected, or maybe located, in the production. Guitarist/Singer Alan isn’t one for bells and whistles, and the guitar remains almost uneffected throughout the tracks, less a touch-o’-crunch in the choruses n’ heavy bits (which, to be honest, aren’t all that heavy). “Same!” says bassist Alex, whose spiffy rooted bass is one hell of a complement to pay any guitar.
The whole thing, in fact, has a thoughtfully soulful, organic feel, despite the dance beats and the 5/4 and the 7/8 and the hearty harmonizing. There’s a freedom, a jazziness, particularly on single ‘Forty Winks’ where many other bands of their ilk would risk straying into clinicism. The riffs can be drawn out for bars at a time, jammed and moulded and hammered into lovely strings of sound. It’s the space thing again.
Tangled Hair, sir, is a grand continuation of a grand talent. The evolution is far more subtle than can be noticed at first listen, but the songwriting skillz at work here are just too good to pass up another one, so you know everyone’s gonna end up giving in eventually.
Released on 11th April 2011 courtesy of Big Scary Monsters Recording Company