CD Review: In Fear Of Olive – All We Can Do Is Wonder
In Fear Of Olive – All We Can Do Is Wonder
by Richard Cook
Far removed from the basic acoustic rock of their early attempts, this is a mature and frankly impressive EP from a disgustingly young band. There’s glacial piano, lap steel and even a bona fide Hank style country ballad.
The group harmonies over acoustic guitars inevitably means they’ll be lumped in with Mumford & Sons, but this is far more Americana in scope without any of the ‘ye olde folk song’ shtick that so often blights the genre. The influences are worn heavily on their collective sleeve and no doubt there’ll be cracks about the American twang in the vocals, but they’re delivered with a verve and sincerity that makes them hard to dislike.
There’s an impressive sense of space across the EP, and often the band are reduced to a single guitar with maybe a single note on a piano or a moaning lap steel in the background, leaving the focus on the vocals and lyrics. A distant thunderstorm rumbles over a fingerpicked acoustic and a tinkling music box piano, there’s a brief interruption from massed vocals on a chorus and a shuffling snare throughout ‘Peace Of Mind’.
The Olives write and play with a subtlety and restraint that puts many (much) older and more experienced bands to shame. Not for them the bludgeoning attack of triple tracked distorted guitars to create impact; here the only up-tempo track is a country-fuelled rave up with an insistent pounding piano and a twanging clean lead straight out of Nashville.
As a standalone EP there are no songs bound for the charts to be found here as yet, but as a statement of intent it’s a powerful challenger for ‘Most Promising Band Of The Year’.
1. I’m Sure They’ll Fall
2. Led Me Astray
3. Peace of Mind
4. The Only Way Is Down
First published at Destroy Before Reading
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