EmperorTStagFantasyToBleakWith over a year now passed since their Speedwell Drive EP in 2012, Sussex four-piece Emperor The Stag return with new full-length album Fantasy to Bleak this February.

The album, a combination of re-mastered recordings from old releases and brand new fresh material, comprises 10 tracks of accessible but solidly alternative fare. Their sound – a self-consciously indie/alt-rock combination of jangling guitar and effectively simple rhythms – has been honed since previous releases to create something distinct; simultaneously fresh and recognisable.

Highlights include the epic Red Admiral’s Daughter (a hangover from the previous EP) with its lilting rhythms and understated vocal, as well as Animals which has a more acoustic folk feel and on which the jangling guitars come into their own. Meanwhile, Past is a pacy wish to look to the future as opposed to backwards with some of the cleverest lyrics on the album – extended boxing metaphors hitting home well. The subtle build makes it perhaps the best song on the LP.

Fantasy to Bleak will be available on Stop Thinking Records from February 3rd: http://stopthinkingrecords.bandcamp.com/

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