The Idle Vice Pirate (note the singular in the name!) demo comes to me as a simple CDR, devoid of track information. When I find out the names I’ll go back through and edit them in or something, but it shouldn’t affect the review much. There are five tracks here that get better as we move through the CD, which probably breaks the golden rule of a demo or something.
The first track opens with a Libertines-esque riff and if I’d not seen the band live I might have been concerned, but it quickly becomes clear this track has more in common with Muse in one of their rockier moments, though Candy’s vocals are all her own. If I had a criticism it would be that it feels too long: there seemed to be a solo moment too many before the finish. The second track is a faster, Clash-ier, Smiths-ier affair that burns along with a fine energy and still has something back for the distorted ending. Candy has a good voice but also a fine turn of phrase in the lyrics.
Track 3 kicks in with lots of fine disorted guitar and some great drums. This is probaly the best thing on the demo: The guitar is squealing and playing lead ideas through most of the song, the drums are all over the place with some great tom playing one in bit and then full-on crashes for another, and there’s a nice moment of bass on its own. I said this was [i]probably[/i] the best thing on the demo, however. The fourth track is something different again, a darker, Doorsy sounding piece with a hypnotic repeating guitar phrase running through it, and a classic quiet-loud structure allowing for a lot ‘space’ and ideas.
The final track returns to the feel of the first two, which is a minor disappointment, but only because I was hoping for something different again. Once I’m over it, I reckon it’s a definite good track, similar in style to the first but this one manages to be a bit more pithy, with a stronger emphasis on the bass and a nice guitar phrase through the chorus.
It’s a good demo and a good taster of the live sound, which I thought was rawer and stronger in all the right ways. It’s probably not fair to make any criticisms of the production but I will anyway: the clean guitar sound isn’t good and sounds like it’s just been plugged straight into the desk without any amp, which is a shame. I could have done with the bass being a bit more fat and booming too, but these are minor niggles.
The website is forthcoming at: http://www.ivpirate.com