Glasgow quintet Don't Shoot follow on from their acclaimed debut EP Wonderkid with That's the Truth, Even If It Never Happened. The 8 track EP has the feel of an album both stylistically and thematically as they continue to broaden their mystical electro acoustic, folk rock sound.
With nearly half the tracks clocking in at under three minutes, the band prove that they are more than capable of being economical with their musical narratives. Legless/heartless sets the haunting tone of the album with an acoustic overture that swells into a flurry of musical texture and sound. From here they alternate from folk rock ballads like the lead single Epic to tender Bye Bye Baby with short instrumental interludes breaking up the tracks.
Dance With Sincerity begins with a rolling riff giving the illusion of a slow dance before breaking into a quick step. Once the second verse kicks in things feel a little rushed and musically it's more of a dance off than a meaningful one. However, the lyrical sentiment is honest and redeems the track allowing you to catch your breath in the closing moments. Sea Level has a 90s vibe with some slap bass, funky keys, a jangling refrain and choral harmonies. It's an uplifting track that demonstrates the versatility of the band.
Flutter is a duet between vocalist Jonny Kirwan and keyboardist Anna Doody. It contains some heart tugging and longing vocals coupled with a percussive heart flutter on the drums, a clever addition from stickman Emmett Cleary, again demonstrating that the band have thought about the layers of their music. Bye Bye Blue, another ballad with painful and tender lyrics. It's marked with emotion through simple and sparse instrumentation. That's The Truth, another slow builder, led by an acoustic guitar and layered vocals ends the album on an eerie note.
Some of their best music is actually the instrumentals, which are also in fact their shortest. Sleepwalker being a particularly strong example of this.
There is far more varied musicianship happening during these all too brief moments than in their longer songs. It would be interesting if they explored this element of their music further rather than cutting the tracks off in their prime. A worthy successor to Wonderkid but it still feels if the band are experimenting and developing their sound with this EP. There is a sense that they are caught between too styles here and need to focus on bringing those glorious arrangements and layers into all their songs.