This timely mini-album is a welcome interlude for fans keenly awaiting the follow-up to Arcane Roots’ stunning 2013 album, Blood And Chemistry.
It is also initially quite a shock to the system. Opener If Nothing Breaks, Nothing Moves is one of the heaviest things the band have yet penned, a sharp blast of angular riffs and dynamic shifts. But When Did The Taste Leave Your Mouth is a rather more straight-up number, primed for radio play even if it does retain the atmospheric elements that set the Roots apart from your average alternative rock band. Leaving 1 is in the same crossover prog territory as Pineapple Thief’s recent records, and perhaps stronger for being so consciously an ‘album’ track, while the breakdown section of Slow Dance calls to mind the intricate riffs of trailblazing math-proggers The Fall of Troy and brightly burning British millennial rock-prog talents like Cooper Temple Clause and Oceansize. Arcane Roots’ genius has always been in marrying the experimental side of guitar music to huge pop hooks and choruses, and this EP suggests their skills are only sharpening with time. But will their next album contain their most experimental and interesting excesses? Hope so.