Ambulance Ltd. – New English (TVT)

The New English EP collects seven of Ambulance Ltd.’s loose ends including two new songs, a live cover, two demos, and two songs left-over from the first album. Judging by the two new tracks that start this EP off, they may be moving in a new direction on their next album. The world-weary country of the opening title track isn’t the guitar-heavy indie-pop I expected, though it works thanks to Marcus Congleton’s vocals. Up next, bassist Matthew Dublin takes the mic for “Arbuckle’s Swan Song”, although a more accurate title might be “We’re Indie Rock, But We Like Steely Dan”. A live cover of Pink Floyd “Fearless” is pleasant, but not that different from the original. Following that are two demos of songs from the first album: The anthemic rocker “Heavy Lifting” is stripped to its acoustic bare-bones, and “Sugar Pill” is re-imagined as a cross-pollination of trip-hop and Motown. The EP ends with two songs that would have fit nicely on Ambulance Ltd.’s first album, “Country Gentleman” (featuring some Johnny Marr-esque guitar jangle) and “Straight A’s”, which is one of the band’s finer moments. It leaves you wanting their sophomore album to be released right now.