Released on 28th November 2011 on Highline Records.
Reviewed by Francesca Baker
Alphabet Backwards are releasing their final EP. This is brilliant. Because next summer they will be releasing their debut album. That’s at least ten tracks of pure endorphin ruffling pop. Can’t wait. But until then, to get us through the winter gloom the Oxford band have released their British Explorer EP. Both the title and vigour of Big Top seem a proclamation of intent, a rollicking shimmer of bright colours and lollipops, the bouncing melody that is so much part of Alphabet Backwards’ sound. Bright and breezy guitars unite with 80s keyboard synths on the spirited Tonight which, asthe best story telling songs do, make you wish you’d been there. We praised the ‘beautifully disjointed dynamic between James and Steph’s vocals, abrupt cymbals and yearning finish’ of Taller last week, and stand by it as a brilliant closer to the EP. Despite the general gleeful intensity, James’ lyrics hint at a slight note of strain , a little tart twist to the sugar sweet, and this connection to reality suggests a longevity for the band beyond many pop outfits. Sounding almost like the next stage of maturity, it’s an exciting cliffhanger to leave us on, whetting the appetite for the next stage of Alphabet Backwards.