Empty Pools – Holding Pattern EP Review

Empty Pools are a band based in Southville, South Bristol. They released their debut album, Saturn Reruns, in November last year and are following up their last release with their Holding Pattern EP.

Holding Pattern EP will be released on February 17 through Battle Worldwide Recordings.

Empty Pools self-released two singles in 2012, followed by two 7″s on Battle Worldwide Recordings (Frenchkiss Label Group), Safety School (2012) and Small Talk (2013). Since these releases, the band has developed and expanded their sound. The Holding Pattern EP is a wonderful concoction of four superbly crafted songs.

Title track, Holding Pattern, introduces a dark tone to the record with its sombre guitar riffs but this is almost immediately lifted by the introduction of the drums and bass riff. Add the sexy vocals and you have one hell of a track. Empty Pools are brilliant at producing upbeat songs that can lift your mood. Their songs sound full, there are layers among layers of instruments which catch your attention.

Small Talk Part 2 follows on from their previous single release, Small Talk. Small Talk Part 2 begins with a jazz drum beat accompanied by some jazz guitar before it breaks into full flow. The jazz drums and jazz guitar riff feature throughout the song, even if only heard lightly in the background at points, it never loses that jazz feel. It’s a really interesting track which gets the thumbs up over and over again.

The Holding Pattern EP features a remix of the title track by Leeds band, Sky Larkin. The remix sees Holding Pattern transformed into a relaxing, repetitive track that repeats the lyrics, “There’s no decision” among a few other snippets of lyrics. The song has been transformed into a club song – the vocals have effects applied to them to make them jerky, the synths are enhanced and the music subsides and increases to build tension. It’s entirely different to the original but has been cleverly produced to allow it that space to be transformed into a trance/lounge track.

The last track on the EP is Medium Wave. This is another remix track but this time it has been done by The Boy Lucas. Once again, Empty Pools’ song has been transformed into a clubbing, trance inspired track. On first listen to Empty Pools’ music you wouldn’t think that they would work as club tracks but it appears they lend themselves to this genre rather successfully. Medium Wave sees the guitar riff being the most dominant sound at the beginning of the track before the tribal sounding drums take over. Eventually, the drum machine drums kick in and the synths become dominant giving it that truly electronic sound. It’s a dramatic, climatic number which is perfect to end the EP on.

Empty Pools Holding Pattern EP will be released on February 17 via Battle Worldwide Recordings.

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