I like EP’s. In a day and age where anyone can upload a song to the internet, score a top 10 hit in the charts (erugh!) and then disappear off the public radar all in the same week, an EP is a window into a bands very existence. Too short to be an album but too long to be single, an EP gives a glimpse into what a band can offer above and beyond the one ‘stand out tune’ which most (good) bands can provide. And so is the case with Jonny Cola and the A grades EP, ‘Halo’.
Previously releasing other EPs and a mini album, Theblackflag.co.uk was allowed a sneak preview to ‘Halo’ before its official release in March 2012.
The 4 songs on this EP perfectly capture the bands total range and ‘Glam/Pop’ style of songs. Opening with the self title track from the EP, Halo, its a slow build of gentle vocals over drums and bass guitar reaching a crescendo with Jonnys vocals lying nicely over the top.
‘Rain stopped play’ isnt a tribute to cricket but is a down right feet stomping, head nodding full on ‘indie style’ song . At 2 minutes and 41 seconds its a quick, in your face song – perfect for a quick turn on the dance floor!
At over 5 minutes, ‘Ripples’ is Jonny Cola and the A grades long and winding ballad, that somehow still seems to include soaring guitars, dueting together to form a platform to allow a piano to sneak in creating a nice mixture of styles.
‘Ship of fools’ is an Erasure cover and the last song on the EP and to my mind at least, is the best showcase of Jonnys vocals and allows them to reach new heights as the band play rhythmic guitars with almost a total absence of drums.
‘Halo’ is a good EP, full of a nice mixture of song styles which shows Jonny Colas and The A grades abilities off very well. Its just a shame that without label support an EP might be the closet we get to a full album…………………
Words: Brian McKay