Quadrilles – ‘Isotopes’ EP review

Quadrilles band

A math-rock band hailing from London, Quadrilles recently released their new EP ‘Isotypes’ on very reasonably priced vinyl from Lonely Voyage Records. Friends of Olympians (in fact, their EP artwork is by Michael Parkin – the man also responsible for the knights you can see above), they share a label with Polymath and Lost in the Riots – so you should already know you’re onto a good thing!

The EP opens with ‘Tightropes’, a song with a laid-back, hypnotic introduction that makes way for Johnny Foreigner-style vocals and electrifying riffs, alongside the standard awkward time signature drumbeats. Melodic and loose, the band sing about school days and better times before a bass-lead change in direction takes them into new territory – sounding like a less intense Axes. ‘March of the Clowns’ follows and this one’s intricacy and loud/quiet moments are more in line with TTNG. A fun-filled song with the drums very much at the forefront, the vocal delivery is also especially elongated – the band using voices as an extra instrument. After this, the largely instrumental climax has a healthy amount of scuzz that seemingly comes out of nowhere.

Remarkably for the kind of music Quadrilles play, none of the six songs on this EP clock in at over four minutes. But this breezy running time does not affect the quality in any way – the songs still veer off in unexpected and delightful directions. ‘Whales’ is only two and a half minutes and appears to be a joyous celebration of one of the most beautiful animals on the planet. Complete with harmonious group ‘woos’ and samba-style guitars, it’s the kind of track that makes you want to dance and shuffle your feet uncomfortably. ‘Into Ludes’ has a great pun-based name and offers an insight into the more reflective side of the band, recalling the likes of Deep Elm band Moonlit Sailor in the process.

‘Shirtsleeves’ is also full of catchy riffs in the vein of Owls or Tubelord and has a remarkably sun-kissed celebratory feel you can’t help but smile at… This positive feeling and sense of humour continues through to the brilliantly titled closing track ‘Mum! ..Finished’. With its finger-tapping intro and gliding guitars, it’s a song that will appeal to fans of Mimas or Maybeshewill and the effects-laden and distorted closing moments provide the perfect finish for what is an incredibly well-crafted, enthusiastic and intelligent EP.

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