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6 out of 10
Let's get the bad news over with. The title track here is aptly named, Vessels throw the likes of Gomez, Explosions In The Sky and Futureheads into an electrified airliner and set it to 'tailspin'. The whole comes out sounding like a low-precision Tool or kindergarten Clinic. There is power, there is thought, there is Babylonian structure but there is also an overwhelming desire to wave your hands in front of your face in an attempt to blot it all out. Let us be thankful, then, for the remaining tracks, which show a band with rare promise and imagination.
Forget that "Yuki" is reminiscent of Coldplay without the annoying, middle-class, globalised guilt trip and instead revel in the ethereal vocals and piano, complimented by pin-perfect percussion and guitar. A potential festival anti-anthem capable of moving the hearts of thousands, providing it's not used to flog cars or as the incidental music to a TV show where Davina McCall goes to 'find herself'.
Two minutes into a track which would send most of the Glastonbury crowd to the toilets or the beer tent (Depending on how tediously quiet and noodly they thought it was), fears that "The Beast" wants to pull us into a sweaty bed with Mogwai and Radiohead are cleared in the final minute, where Vessels unleash a riff surely intended to send chin-stroking muso-critics into the foetal position and the bar-scrum into an all-too-short mosh frenzy. Certainly a moment where no sound system would be loud enough, and one which definitely leaves the sound of 'more!' in the air.
"Descent" has us back in the Green Field at two a.m. watching people dressed as neon druids planting a garden of glow-stick flowers, its loping, stop-start melancholia providing an ideal soundtrack to the strange-tasting cake you bought from that girl with the pierced lip and tattooed feet. Almost the definitive early-morning groove, despite an overly fuzzed-up beginning.
An audacious amount to cram into four tracks. Vessels could be going places, I just hope they don't find the Glasgow mega-snake men or Oxford's introvert-messiahs there first.
1. A Hundred Times in Every Direction
3. The Beast