The Roves return this summer with The Big Silver EP . The Roves were back at Konk studios in London to record and mix the four songs on The Big Silver and working again with engineer Josh Green they have pushed their sound and songwriting further than on any release so far.
On The Big Silver the Wing brothers split songwriting duties for the first time, taking a side each and complementing each other’s observational and reflective styles. The lead single Fixing To Burn is a raw, terse view on gun control from the mind of an outsider “I’ve got a gun and it’s so much fun, whoever said only the good die young”. The Roves heighten the drama with the use of synthesizers - that sound like a breaking news report, to dizzying effect. As always the band are locked into a driving rhythm and groove, with their signature spirling guitar motif colouring the track and balancing out the darker topic. Track two Fear opens with the lines: “Walking back through Finchley. Saw some blazer boys dancing at a garden party” and straight in we’re hooked, locked in for another observational songwriting delight. James continues through the first verse accompanied with only quick strums of his guitar before the band join him for a foot tapping, r&b styled groove which is vivacious and relentless till the end. As the track nears the end James’s anguished vocals sound like a young Weller on the line: “Burn the names of cinemas from the yellow pages. My achievements span the ages”, with the tongue in cheek humor of Warren Zevon. Fear is an unusually great pop song.
On the B side (for purists, tracks three and four the digital demographic) Tom steps up to deliver two gorgeous gems of idyllic art pop. The Odd Pupil is a majestic, lush composition which ruminates on a lost love: “I ’m yearning, concerning, My love in vain for yous still burning”. The song has a haunted mid-60’s feel, which is underpinned by two beautiful, sweeping cellos and matched with a string piano and some vibey bongo drum percussion. In two and a half minutes The Odd Pupil perfectly balances Beach Boys esque pop with fuzzy guitar distortion. Tom’s hazy vocals match the reflective lyrics until the end where frustration gets the better of him and he pleads; “Tell me girl” over and over in an amalgam of Ray Davis and Kurt Cobain. Thugs For God is another blissfully nostalgic track which opens with the gentle strumming of an autoharp before Tom reflects on a personal relationship, lamenting pensively: “I haven’t been tactile to touch. But now I guess it don’t take much”. It's an admirable sentiment which makes this bizarrely titled track the most intimate of the EP. James joins in on the bridge to deliver the EPs first clear sign of a harmony, wistfully backing: “And all these things I took for granted, running around my head”, accompanied by otherworldly sound effects which linger throughout the song, hitting angelic, choral like proportions in the chorus. The band change tempo in the chorus to match Tom’s discontent as he takes the reins to deliver a demure shot on love: ‘Cos’ love is a word that’s bandied around. Without any worth run into the ground, no no no”. The additional vocals of Veronica Dajani play out as a daydream and a memory of love as the melancholic tune drifts off spiraling into the sky.