Hot Vestry are an intriguing indie-pop four-piece from Macclesfield. Signed to The Charlatans Tim Burgess’ record label O Genesis, they managed to secure impressive support slots with bands such as The Charlatans, New Order, Johnny Marr, Public Service Broadcasting, Jaws and Superfood. Extensive touring around the UK with such bands as these has helped Hot Vestry make a name for themselves. Their refreshingly unique style and exciting performances have caught the attention of audiences everywhere. That attention has given Harry, Joe, Will and Tilly the platform to release the four-track A Scene In Between EP.
The 2 minute long A Public Execution is the opener of the EP. The lyricless track is very simplistic, combining gloomy, sinister sounding guitar and bass riffs. The track is given a futuristic, sci-fi feel by keys from Tilly. After listening to the full EP, you quickly realise that A Public Execution serves as a perfect intro.
The second track, Hit Me Harder, is almost hypnotic. Surprisingly soothing vocals from frontman Harry completes a sympthony of drowned-out screeching guitar, soft percussion and chiming keyboard. I use the term ‘surprising soothing vocals’ in contrast with past tracks such as True Colours, where Harry’s chorus wouldn’t seem out of place on a pop punk song.
The third instalment is the very electronic Parallel To Tomorrow. This is definitely my favourite of the A Scene In Between EP. Your attention is drawn immediately to the electronic feel of the track. The echoing guitar and anguished lyrics become almost an afterthought. By now, the sense of angst and biting attitude seems to have returned to Harry’s vocals.
The fourth and final track of the EP is entitled Quiet Headed. This 5 and a half minute long closer has similar keys to Parallel To Tomorrow, creating a likeness between the two tracks and their electronic atmosphere. An unexpectedly funky guitar riff gives the track a different dimension and shatters any first impressions. Hot Vestry shock listeners with another unexpected twist in the flow of the song when Harry’s forceful first verse transitions into a melodic poppy chorus.
The Macclesfield four-piece are a band full of surprises. It’s not hard to see that they are very experimental with the music they make, pushing the boundaries and blurring the lines between indie pop and rock and electronic music. The very thing New Order became critically acclaimed for doing in the back in the 1980s. Having toured the UK with New Order, you have to think that they’ve been inspired to try making some more electronic music. You’re given even more reason to believe that when you find out that keyboardist Tilly’s mother is Gillian Gilbert, the keyboardist of New Order, who joined the original members of Joy Division in the band following Ian Curtis’ suicide. I think the keyboard has been given a much bigger role in the music on A Scene In Between and Tilly has been given a bigger role Hot Vestry. And the end product is better for it.