[sic] Magazine

To Bury A Ghost – The Hurt Kingdom EP

If ever Muse lose Matt Bellamy to some freak UFO incident, there’s a ready made replacement in East Midlander Jonathan Stolber . Unquestionably, his emotive mew hovers majestically in his band’s confident indie rock, yet their ensuing 5-track soup won’t find much favour with fans of originality.

Equally bringing early Radiohead to mind, The Hurt Kingdom frequently crunches in impressive bass courtesy of band-member Matt Bransgrove , twinkles in keys and rich percussion when it doesn’t, and seeks sometimes to fill stadiums with its laser-fired guitar FX, such as those heard on “Coming Up For Air”. Creaking with intensity, this cut is also the EP’s strongest moment.

Yet, the EP as a whole is sadly offset elsewhere by drippy, anonymous affairs like the widescreen opener, and more so by “Jaws Of Love”, which, despite latterly exploding into plugged-in theatrics (baby), could easily earn the three-piece “landfill” write ups/offs in crueller reviews than this.

Happily, it’s not all bad news for To Bury A Ghost (T-BAG?), and the progressive post-rock bed that makes up “Beginning Is The End” provides welcome distraction, lurching the listen off suddenly as it does in the direction of a watery Explosions In The Sky . However, the EP closes with a NIN -style remix of “Coming Up For Air” making the running order seem a little slapdash, affecting its potential impact. And, as all graduates of Muse’s space academy know, it’s Deep Impact or nothing at this level.

~The Hurt Kingdom is released on the 6th December 2010 via the band’s Bandcamp page.~