Neon Spiral EP (self-released)
The Kettering quartet have just dropped their third EP, and my word it’s a corker. Four tracks that trade heavily in fuzz and drone, it’s a metallic knockout mix of all their primary influences, and a few more beside. They open with ‘War In My Head’, which is all Telescopes/Suicide tendencies and thickset grungey alt-rock dynamics, held together with a hypnotic hi-hat beat and J&MC guitar pulse that keeps your eye on the horizon. It goes through several phases, regularly swaying left and right to display its message - before collapsing on the floor, having given all it could at the altar of degenerate rock’n’roll. Sea-sickness may kick in if you didn’t take your pill beforehand. It’s possibly their best song to date, and should win them plenty of new admirers.
‘Swamp Thing’ lurches into view swiftly, driven on some maniacal Black Sabbath-styled riff and vocal intonation. The Fun House sludge is relentless over six minutes, coming to life in double time for the last ninety seconds where guitarist Tom pulls his best Wayne Kramer riff out the bag. Occasionally singer Dean yelps in a way that recalls John Lydon in his PILed up days (as opposed to his current Brexit-loving daze), and all is briefly right with the world. This sort of warped heaviness could get you locked up in Arkham if you’re not careful, boys.
‘Fudge Mountain’ is period shoegaze drone ala Loop and Spacemen 3, and is neither offensive nor much to shout about - until the fourth minute, when everything drops away and the stellar bass line comes into focus and some light is let in. From there it’s onto the stratosphere (if only the inner version). Closer ‘Microsleep’ is the magnum narcotic opus: jazzy beats underlying an early 90s indebted exterior. Intense and broody (like Smashing Pumpkins), krauty (like Ride), a little self-indulgent (like Pearl Jam), it’s custom-made for the alt-rockers of a certain vintage to lose their shit to. And also perfectly suited to the contemporary psych scene. These lot know what they’re doing at every single minute of this EP. Transfer you attention in their direction swiftly.
Neon Spiral is available on Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc. A vinyl version will follow in the next month or so.
BY PHIL ISTINE
A blog to pontificate upon music both new and old: mostly reviews, some news, interviews, thought pieces, and exclusive content.