Opening track ’Anti Omerta’ opens with an uptempo drum beat and a short but interesting riff, there is plenty angst and energy but the song’s chorus falls short in providing the lift and hook that the track needs and the song continues to have an over-reliance on the main riff until the interesting bass-driven mid section.
A cracking bass line opens the second track ‘Blonde On Blonde On Blonde’ and the guitar has an angry funk feel, all underpinned with a solid drum beat – unfortunately, with little change, the dynamic feels overplayed after 1 minute and 44 seconds – mainly due to a lack of an interesting vocal line on top. When the change does come it is an interesting groove-based synth section with a nice shuffle feel on drums – until the main dynamic returns again, disappointingly with no change in lyrics or vocal melody.
There is no disappointing on the vocal front with track 3, ‘Cave Pain Things’, the vocals have a feel of Grace Slick about them and there is a strong vocal finish – excellently delivered – to the track.
‘Drop City’ opens with something akin to demented circus music and thanks to a great bass sound and excellent guitar pick it establishes a fantastic brooding presence, the vocals adding to the eerie vibe throughout before closing with a strong outro.
Track 5 ’Dumb Glutton’ again makes use of the band’s undoubtedly talented bass player with a great line underpinning the verse and chorus.
‘Guesse Flesch’ is certainly influenced by some of Jefferson Airplane’s more manic moments, the track is one of the strongest on the album – featuring some genuinely experimental guitar work.
‘Jar of Wasps’ features a fantastic intro and the bass and drum combo is again delivering but the track falls flat due to a lack of a big enough chunk of melody.
‘Low Certitude Humbler’ has a hint of The Rapture but it is essentially an instrumental. ’Negative Matching’ has a foreboding energy to it, featuring a fuller distorted guitar sound that really adds punch to the delivery.
Closing track, ’Telescopic What’, closes the album off with a groovy upbeat number that has its fair share of discord too, the track is another of the standout tracks of the album and again provides us with more excellent inter play between the guitar and bass.
The album has a sparse and raw feel to it with little or no layering of vocals, guitars or synths throughout – this can be devastatingly effective but is tough to pull off, and the band could have benefited from adding some bigger sounding guitars to reinforce some of the angrier and more energetic moments. This would have also given more muscle and diversity to the songs and arrangements which have plenty of interesting effects and high register guitar parts already present. Given that the vocals for much of the album are more of an angsty and atonal style, a bigger sound in places might also have added the power evident in some of the Yeah Yeah Yeah-style harder moments.
A lack of memorable choruses makes the album difficult to grab onto quickly, but there are more than enough interesting aspects to the songs to bring the listener back. With a feel of some of The Doors’ stranger moments and a nod to Jefferson Airplane from time to time likely to prove agreeable to listeners of more alternative music, a few more melodic vocal hooks could really open doors.
This band have plenty to work with and the experience of recording their first full album and touring the album should only help them to further fine-tune their sound.
Out now on White Plague Records
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