Review of Three Moods of the EP by The Noisettes

The Noisettes
Three Moods of the…
EP Review

The Noisettes Three Moods of the EP

There has been some considerable buzz around this London three-piece thanks to their frenetic live performances and singer/bassist Shingai Shoniva's outlandish gig attire. The burning question is, of course, does the music live up to the hype?

The answer, unfortunately is no. At least not on this record. The Three Moods of the Noisettes EP is the sound of a band experimenting with different sounds and styles, but failing to get any of them right.

Opener "Don't Give Up" is straight out of The White Stripes book of scratchy blues-rock, right down to the last detail. Scuzzy guitars, and rudimentary drums are offset by vocals so high-pitched and erratic that they make Jack White sound like that bloke from the Lighthouse Family. For the first minute or so this sounds impressive, but soon it trails off and becomes turgid and uninteresting.

The rest of the EP sees the band tackle soul ("Monte Christo") and funk ("Signs") to a similar effect, thus covering the "three moods". It's a shame that this record isn't more memorable because the Noisettes are clearly a technically proficient group. Dan Smith is an accomplished guitarist who can faithfully produce parts from whichever style of music they attempt, his work on "Signs" with its irregular rhythms and delay effects is particularly impressive. Similarly Jamie Morrison is a drummer capable of creating complex and fluid rhythms without sounding too hackneyed. What is most striking though, is Shoniva's voice. She veers from a sweet, soulful croon to a bluesy howl and hits all the points in between, encompassing a larger range than most rock vocalists.

Despite all of the composite parts working extremely well, the band seem to have forgotten to write any tunes in the process, so the tracks on this EP don't evoke much emotional response in the listener, and they eventually pass you by unnoticed.

If they could record something more focused and distinctive then they'd be onto a winner, but for now, The Noisettes have not delivered on their early promise.

Ben Davis

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