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The Manchester edition of Now Then is no longer publishing content. Visit the Sheffield edition.


Cast your mind back, if you will, to 2010 - a time when dinosaurs roamed the earth, human beings only had one large eye in the middle of their face, and it was customary for townsfolk to be burned at the stake for being upbeat about the state of British sport. A year that saw student unrest sweep the country and BP take a huge steaming dump in the Gulf of Mexico before sloppily wiping their behinds with a dead cormorant. Despite all this, 2010 will undoubtedly live longest in the collective memory due to my review of Letherette's eponymous debut EP in the November issue of this very magazine.

Exactly two years on, Letherette are back with what is now their third EP and their first for Ninja Tune. Despite retreating to a mountain top monastery in Guam shortly after the last article was published and swearing never again to review EPs by Wolverhampton duos, I have once again returned to face the inevitability of my destiny after Now Then's editor bribed me back to UK shores with a combination of Rymans vouchers and Weetos.

So, the verdict? Not mind-blowing, but it's still pretty good. While I was holed away in Guam, the duo appear to have spent their time hanging out at mid-90s Parisian nightclubs and Chicago dancefloors circa 1987. Opening track 'Warstones' is much more overtly dancey than their previous outings, sounding not dissimilar to early Daft Punk but retaining Letherette's characteristic chopped vocal flecks, although it lacks a certain edge and could easily be filed away with any other disco resurgence track of the same ilk. 'Ettewards' is better, muffled rave piano stabs propped up by a veteran 4/4 beat, with soulful snatches of vocals strewn across them.

In the best sense possible, 'Surface' sounds like a bonus track from Kuedo's Severant, a gentle whir of drums underlying a twinkling melody, while the collaborative partnership of Jed and Lucia half-sing, half-sigh over the top. Final track 'Wecko' is a charmingly spaced slice of Brainfeeder-esque beatsmanship, incorporating chimes and an array of found sounds to firmly banish any troublesome worries to the naughty step for a 4:36 minute time out.

Overall, Letherette's third offering does their reputation no harm at all, but nor does it advance it in any great way. It is slightly too forgettable as a whole. This could be partly due to their shift from the comfortably obscure Ho Tep imprint to the more 'mainstream independent' Ninja Tune, where risks are likely to be more scrutinised. By me. Two years from now, when they're readying their debut LP for Simon Cowell's Syco label, I'll see you back on these pages for round three. But for now - one ticket to Guam please madam.