A sterling first effort from San Francisco's Empty Rooms whose EP makes perfect sense of their chosen name. Full of echo and that tangible sense of loneliness so craved for by other post-punk acts, the group avoid the usual clichés by recalling the rather more obscure acts from the 1980s. Thus, 'First Things First' is blessed with a Bauhaus-like atmosphere, 'Docks In The Distance' meanders in several experimental but rewarding directions like early Breathless and - most bizarre of all - the vocals on 'Black Sugar' are similar to Sting during his white reggae days with The Police. The EP is completed by two other great tracks: the reverberating crisp pop of 'Try Again' and 'Form Has Two Faces' which is distinctive for the addition of a female vocalist and some excellent ringing guitar work. Feasibly, Empty Rooms will have to get used to playing fuller venues in the future.