by / May 21st, 2010 /

O Emperor – Reverie EP

 3/5 Rating

(Universal Ireland)

Reverie is the imacculately polished debut EP from State-approved, Waterford-based five piece O Emperor. The group have been making serious waves over the last couple of months, with their numerous performances on national radio and TV causing quite the stir amidst the savvy record buying public. The strength of debut single ‘Po’ also earned them a place on the revered State ‘Faces of 2010’ mixtape. That single bore all the hallmarks of a band destined for big things and this EP is much the same. It boasts four tracks of carefully constructed Americana, heavy on acoustic guitars and clean, catchy vocal melodies.

To be honest it’s a little difficult to find something interesting to say about this record. It’s lovely, warm and easy to lose yourself in for 15-odd minutes if you don’t pay it too much attention. The influence of the stereotypical ‘dad’s record collection’ is everywhere, there’s plenty of The Band in here, a little Crosby, Stills and Nash and a touch of The Beach Boys too. It all makes for a beautiful sounding collection of songs, instantly likeable, for such is the effect of easy familiarity. That’s the main problem here, there’s nothing new on show. Final track ‘It Only Comes to Pass’ is so reminiscent of Grizzly Bear it could be a cover, Radiohead style melodies flit in an out, just pricking the memory of some OK Computer guitar line.

Now, please don’t be mistaken, this is a gorgeous little bit of music, no doubt about that but the sheer reliance on their influences is worrying as it drags back the little flourishes of identity that manage to break through. This EP is a taster for the album that is coming in September and if it serves to whet appetites for its bigger brother then mission accomplished. It should manage that much, but hopefully the full length will give them a little more freedom to be themselves.

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