5to4 - Tip It
Rock, Ambient Mancunian group 5to4’s debut EP, Tip It, is diverse to say the least.  There is little information about this group, which seems to be mostly the brain child of one man, Phil Goss. With influences ranging from Radiohead to Peter Gabriel, 5to4 seems to be experimenting with different formats on this three-single EP. Experimental electronica, prog rock and indie seem to all be in the mix, with Goss bringing in different artists for each single.


The EP’s title track seems a bit lackluster. Goss’ smooth vocals are overshadowed by the somewhat silly Ben Folds Five-like piano track. Once the melody switches to something a bit lighter, the song brightens up and sounds more professional, but only marginally. In this case, combining prog rock, ragtime piano and Manchester-style 90s indie doesn’t quite work, to put it mildly.

Honorable mention on this EP goes to “It’s Not That It’s Not,” as this track contains some of the more favorable elements 5to4 will hopefully cultivate. Goss’ smooth, Ian Brown-meets-Richard-Butler vocals and his plinky piano work much better together here due to a nicer melody and an acoustic guitar bridging the gap between percussive piano and silky vox. An almost hip hop-like beat first accompanies then brings the melody to a different place with the addition of electric guitar and some very subtle synths. The lyrics on this track accomplish more than “Tip It,” even though they are more sparse and subtle. Sometimes less is more.

“Walk” closes out the EP and is easily the best track. Though it is electronic and instrumental, “Walk” still showcases 5to4’s influences and potential. It begins with a very Spartan flute and percussion track, then morphs into Moog-centric synths which sound like a cross between Switched-On Bach and Tangerine Dream. Lashings of new wave, new romantics and indie rock can all be heard and each add a favorable and evocative element. The melody is sweet yet slightly trippy, with hints of early Peter Gabriel in this largely progressive track.

The rock-driven first two singles, “Tip It” and “It’s Not That It’s Not” are a little rough around the edges. It’s clear 5to4 are still working out their sound, so consider this a vote for their sticking closer to electronica. “Walk,” is the easy winner on this EP and firmly in the experimental electronic realm. If the group can find a way to add in Goss’ lovely vocals to a mix like “Walk” they will have something unique and honest in their work. Indeed, some of the other songs on 5to4’s Soundcloud page strike this balance between progressive, electronic and indie vocals, so here’s hoping that’s the direction they’re headed. 

4
Brutal Resonance

5to4 - Tip It

7.5
"Good"
Released off label 2016
Mancunian group 5to4’s debut EP, Tip It, is diverse to say the least.  There is little information about this group, which seems to be mostly the brain child of one man, Phil Goss. With influences ranging from Radiohead to Peter Gabriel, 5to4 seems to be experimenting with different formats on this three-single EP. Experimental electronica, prog rock and indie seem to all be in the mix, with Goss bringing in different artists for each single.


The EP’s title track seems a bit lackluster. Goss’ smooth vocals are overshadowed by the somewhat silly Ben Folds Five-like piano track. Once the melody switches to something a bit lighter, the song brightens up and sounds more professional, but only marginally. In this case, combining prog rock, ragtime piano and Manchester-style 90s indie doesn’t quite work, to put it mildly.

Honorable mention on this EP goes to “It’s Not That It’s Not,” as this track contains some of the more favorable elements 5to4 will hopefully cultivate. Goss’ smooth, Ian Brown-meets-Richard-Butler vocals and his plinky piano work much better together here due to a nicer melody and an acoustic guitar bridging the gap between percussive piano and silky vox. An almost hip hop-like beat first accompanies then brings the melody to a different place with the addition of electric guitar and some very subtle synths. The lyrics on this track accomplish more than “Tip It,” even though they are more sparse and subtle. Sometimes less is more.

“Walk” closes out the EP and is easily the best track. Though it is electronic and instrumental, “Walk” still showcases 5to4’s influences and potential. It begins with a very Spartan flute and percussion track, then morphs into Moog-centric synths which sound like a cross between Switched-On Bach and Tangerine Dream. Lashings of new wave, new romantics and indie rock can all be heard and each add a favorable and evocative element. The melody is sweet yet slightly trippy, with hints of early Peter Gabriel in this largely progressive track.

The rock-driven first two singles, “Tip It” and “It’s Not That It’s Not” are a little rough around the edges. It’s clear 5to4 are still working out their sound, so consider this a vote for their sticking closer to electronica. “Walk,” is the easy winner on this EP and firmly in the experimental electronic realm. If the group can find a way to add in Goss’ lovely vocals to a mix like “Walk” they will have something unique and honest in their work. Indeed, some of the other songs on 5to4’s Soundcloud page strike this balance between progressive, electronic and indie vocals, so here’s hoping that’s the direction they’re headed. 

Feb 16 2016

Off label

Official relesae released by the artist themselves without the backing of a label.

Layla Marino

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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Started in spring 2009, Brutal Resonance quickly grew from a Swedish based netzine into an established International zine of the highest standard.

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