[sic] Magazine

Hot Vestry – Tell me how it’s done. EP

There’s a buzz around Manchester’s (Macclesfield to be precise about it) latest indie offering, Hot Vestry . Not difficult to see why. Theirs is a rich musical landscape of course, with legacy acts that are tough to live up to. Hot Vestry’s leanings are distinctly Devoto , – their frontman adopting a detached nasal sneer reminiscent of the iconic singer. But their ambitions aren’t confined to aping Magazine or Buzzcocks (more the former) There seems a wider breadth on display suggesting a longer game is to be played here.

If anything there may be too many ideas on Tell Me How It’s Done . Opening track ‘Varnish’ goes for an epic intro that doesn’t quite work, sounding indecisive and confused. It gets better though. ‘Colours Of The Waterfall’ hints at the kinked glamour of Mansun , while elsewhere there’s a back-to-basics post-punk feel to material such as ‘Commiserations’. Hot Vestry probably work best when they employ sweeping synthesisers. These unashamed flourishes work well against the tight, sparse guitars. ‘Dead Ocean’ starts fantastically before shifting into ‘Day Of The Lords’ territory (Watch out for that guys). Confusion kicks in again – a noodling guitar solo, progressive pattern shifts, – do Hot Vestry know what they want to be? Or is it us? Is it that we can’t keep up with these Macclesfield maestros?

Arch and artful, I’ve heard enough to suggest Hot Vestry might rise to great importance. They’re not there yet. Tell Me How It’s Done is formative stuff but never formulaic (Unless we mean Dave Formulaic ). Within these six tracks I hear seeds of rebelliousness. Hot Vestry could be a potent shot in the arm for the UK’s flagging alternative music scene.

Bland anesthetised angst this aint.