He Slept on 57 - A Glow from the Night Light
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: December 6, 2010
With the recent explosive success of Scottish favourites Biffy Clyro, many eyes are planted firmly on the music scene of this green and mountainous country. Whether you're a fan of Biffy or not, their rise to success is nonetheless deserved and has certainly opened the doors for others to follow.
Say hello to He Slept On 57, a three-piece from Inverness. On first listen to the A Glow from the Night Light EP, the first thing that strikes you is 57's spirit and integrity. There is a great deal of honesty and energy presented here, with a tip of the hat to transatlantic emo/pop-punk groups such as Texas is the Reason and Hot Rod Circuit.
Scottish music will always have a distinctive Scots undertone, intentional or not. Despite 57's American influences, you cannot help but be reminded of where the boys are from, adding only furthermore to their appeal. Like many other young Scottish bands, it is this sense of familiarity which attracts you and draws you in.
The EP itself consists of six tracks, including the brooding instrumental title track which leads us into the main feature with an air of anticipation. "Where the Air is Thin" is a catchy effort which really tells us what 57 are all about. However, it is "Another Photo for the Album" where I believe 57 really shine. There is an understated pop sensibility running throughout the five main tracks of the EP but "Another Photo..." is where this is most prominent, with infectious hand-clapping, group harmonies and clever use of repetition. "Kicking Stones" is perhaps the track which cites influence from across the pond most obviously. Not so much with the American pop-punk of today, but further back into the mid 90s where there was a rawer sound and there was a greater sense of urgency.
However, it is possibly the final track "Clark Bent" which perhaps encompasses He Slept on 57 most perfectly. The values of honesty and energy are well represented again and there is a stronger use of dynamic variation in this track than shown prior. The use of group vocals towards the end have an immediate impact and close the track and EP perfectly.
It is obvious to see that the Scottish music scene is brimming with talent and not just in the major hubs you would expect. The highland city of Inverness is fast proving it can compete with the big boys and perhaps, one day, will also be a major hive of musical activity. He Slept on 57 are a fine example of what the city - and in a broader scale, the country - has to offer and it will be exciting to see what they do next.
A Glow from the Night Light is available now from iTunes.