Caretaker : Caretaker

Old-fashioned English indie. A solid debut

The kids might be mad for the Ayia Napa sound, but for some, the old values still ring true. And for those wallowing in the country's backwaters, champagne and bling-blinging glamour have never quite matched the dynamics of quiet and loud.

Caretaker, who hail from the previously unexplored rock location of Petersfield, Hampshire, are a case in point. This debut mini-album is as provincial as you might expect, especially 'Red Mist' and 'Backs Against the Fall', which display the stilted form that's seen indie's currency plummet to an

all-time low.

But these are early days, and elsewhere this has glimpses of the same feral excitement as Idlewild's debut, 'Captain'. Recorded for less money than most bands spend on studio catering, it also has an economic, primitive tautness. So the instrumental 'Entrance' twists and turns with lo-fi guile, the tempestuously buzzing 'Routine' displays punk speed and acres

of sharp edges, and the wonky guitar lines, sudden changes in pace and submerged, off-kilter melodies of everything else make the likes of My Vitriol seem like lifeless dull whingers.

Small-town kids in a big world, Caretaker, sadly, are dancing chronically out of step with

the current musical mood. On

their first dalliance with noise, however, they're doing it with some style.

Jim Alexander
7 / 10

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