Review Summary: A fine full stop to a mixed - but ultimately successful - 2011.
Many a band will purport to have had a whirlwind year, but Little Comets can lay down a stronger case than most. The Newcastle-based indie-pop troupe have endured many of the highs and lows that life in the music industry can bring, having been dropped by major label Columbia, unveiled a marvellous debut album and lost their drummer all in the space of the past twelve months. It's a culmination of events which would prove the unraveling of many, but this quartet-turned-trio have displayed the inner mettle to overcome the setbacks. With temporary replacements on the stool, they've continued to excel in the live arena - with their summer festival slots in particular going down a storm - but perhaps more importantly they're also continuing to flourish in the recording studio, something that this EP of new material goes some way towards proving.
Although far from perfect, January's In Search Of Elusive Little Comets
perhaps stands as 2011's finest indie-pop record, almost purely down to the strength of it's hooks. Tunes like 'One Night In October,' 'Dancing Song' and 'Joanna' were not only among the most addictive released this year, but of any in recent memory, even if they were inexplicably deemed 'too British' by Columbia's label chiefs. By contrast, the tracks on Worry
aren't so instantly satisfying, yet maintain the same Anglican charm of their predecessors, albeit expressed with a greater degree of subtlety. That's not to say that the core sound is identical to that of their past recordings. Mark Harle's effervescent percussion was one of the defining sounds offered by In Search...
and his absence is without question felt here. The rhythmic thrust which has until now characterised their best songs is all but absent, with the emphasis instead being placed upon the guitar hooks - a switch in focus which generally pays dividends.
The title track and lead single perfectly exemplifies this tweaked approach, with excitable quirks and razor-sharp electric licks taking the spotlight ahead of a rather more subdued percussive attack. It's slightly underwhelming on first listen, but will grow with repeated exposure and more than stands up to the stellar material from their LP. It's a similar story with 'Waiting In The Shadows In The Dead Of Night,' the killer chorus of which provokes the same joyous emotions brought about by their very best songs. In truth, the more restrained cuts 'His Thunder' and 'Figures' are considerably less inspired, and the acoustic rendition of the title track is fairly pointless, but the strength of those first two songs alone is more than enough to make this EP worth the effort. Imperfect it may be, but Worry
acts as a pleasing full-stop to a massive year for this excellent young band, and if it's any indication of their future direction that future could be bright indeed.