EP Review: Small Pond Big Fish - 'Close My Eyes' (Deluxe Edition)
What can you get for £1 these days? You can’t even get a Double Cheeseburger from McBurgerland. Fret not, for Small Pond Big Fish have got something far better than processed meat and cheese for such an insignificant sum.
Billed as progressive pop-punk, London's SPBF embody exactly what that genre concept conjures up. There's power chords, girl vocals and clap-along drums. Mix into these staples with the experimental synthesizers, non-conforming song structures and bundles of interludes to weave it all together and you have yourself something beyond pop-punk. This EP is unexpected and delightful throughout.
Beginning with ‘A Premise’, an introduction of swirly and fizzing electro sounds, SPBF will instantly have you wondering. The opening chords of the first song, ‘Close My Eyes’, will feel familiar. Don’t be fooled by this. The vocal melodies hint at an offer of something more than another cut copy Paramore clone, looking to poke their nose in amongst the rest. By the second interlude, you’ll really start to see what this band is up to. ‘Please, Be Careful with the Porcelain’ opens with arpeggios and Iga Tchorz’ intoxicating vocals. You’d be forgiven for falling in love with that tone that dances on the edge of fragility. Almost half way through the song the beat drops and the guitars call in something more powerful. Before you know it, that surge of energy once more makes way for the pretty guitars and glorious voice that we began with.
When you thought you had the measure of this band, ‘Chiaroscuro’ looks you dead in the face and says, “No. You haven’t heard it all yet”. Cue two and a half minutes of beautiful piano composition that it would be unfair to call an interlude. Building into a crescendo, the thumping drums and roaring guitars of ‘A Closed Mind, Wastes Time’ hit you with yet another surprise. And this song isn’t even nearly done with you. It’s fair to say that by this point I was bursting with excitement.
Wrapping up this triumphant journey, ‘Strange Throughts Follow Shadows’ is probably the most pop-punk offering from SPBF. It’s not without the progressive merits that the rest of the EP has to offer. This track goes hard to the very end.
Words of Samuel Hylands
Close My Eyes (Deluxe Edition) is available for £1 (or more) from Small Pond Big Fish’s bandcamp page. The EP is also available from iTunes and Amazon.