grasshopper – Circle Time

Grasshopper’s new EP ‘Circle Time’ starts with an eerie thirty seconds of searching keyboard instrumental before the first proper track begins with a bass slathered in so much chorus it could be The Cure in 1982. ‘Rico’s Revenge’ is almost an instrumental, getting through two atmospheric minutes before restarting and leading us to a short, nostalgic vocal refrain. The nostalgia seems odd when you consider how young the minds that created this music are, this is the second EP from grasshopper and they’ve been playing the Brighton circuit for two years now despite the fact we suspect the average age of the band is a mere seventeen.

It is hard to listen to this EP and not find yourself reminded of bands like the aforementioned Cure, Joy Division and The Buzzcocks. Everything from the drum sounds to the choice of reverb on the vocal is reminiscent of that early 80’s era. It’s fantastic to hear a young band have such a clearly defined sound but I hope it doesn’t become a prison for them. Beneath the production there are lots of great, original ideas:  interesting chord changes and great turns of lyrical phrase and melody. These guys have a natural ability which will only improve with time as long as they stick to their guns (and maybe broaden their record collections).

It’s not the tightest record you’ll hear this year but that rawness is refreshing in an age where so much of the music we hear has been pro-tools edited and auto-tuned before it reaches an audience. The arrangements are a little chaotic at times but again this is a skill that can only improve with time and what’s startling about grasshopper is how mature their output already sounds, they’re certainly not talking about themselves when they sing, “too many hormones not enough brain cells” on closing track ‘Too Many Hormones’. I honestly think grasshopper are only going to get better, I wouldn’t be surprised if they went on to do great things, so pick up a copy of ‘Circle Time’ today and you can say you were with them from the start.

Adam Kidd