Ninetails are a Manchester based quartet, playing “experimental prog-rock” with considerably less 14 minute keyboard solos and lyrics about wizards than that genre usually entails, though they do gain a bit of love from this reviewer for featuring a Pokémon reference as their moniker. ‘Slept and Did Not Sleep’ is the minimal follow-up to their Ghost Rides the Whip EP and features five new tracks of drifting post-rock and spacey, echo-laden math-rock.
Opener ‘Maybe We’ shimmers for its first three minutes before an ominous voice ushers in some Pink Floyd style crashes though unfortunately they fail to resolve themselves into anything particular, instead giving way to the more instant ‘Body Clock’ which rocks a more conventional rhythm. The guitar line through the verse could almost come from an eighties pop record and the ‘na-na-na-na-naa’s wouldn’t seem that out of place with Alt J. The chorus, ‘My body clock cocked up enough to break me,’ is an interesting fusion of northern colloquialism and extra-terrestrial grooviness but the lengthy almost silent sections indicate a band keener on downbeat minimalism than catchy choruses.
The funky ‘Rawdon Fever’ comes closer to conventional indie fare with angular jabs of one guitar contrasting nicely with the bouncy indie riffing of the other while closer ‘Mama Aniseed’ sounds like Friendly Fires if they got stuck on a loop, forced to play until they fell down from exhaustion. The gloomy eight minute drone of ‘Boxed’ feels like its making up the numbers but otherwise there’s a surfeit of thought-provoking material here. ‘Slept and Did Not Sleep’ is interesting, moderately experimental stuff though it probably won’t keep you up at night.