EP Round Up : Doctrines, Letters, Black Feet Revolution, Risky Heroes, Snorkel
Howdy cuates, in the name of all the Mexicans working at this shithole of a website, we apologise for our Presidential elections. On brighter notes, here’s what I’ve been listening for Casa de Sloucher.org. Hope you enjoy them.
Doctrines – Ze
Another of our writers mentioned this band, so I grabbed this promo. Matanga! (not gouranga). Doctrines have a slight penchant for the screamo side of things (think halfway between Jonny Foreigner and Finch – RIP). Ze is composed of four little pieces and ‘Climbing Yggdrasil (Everybody loves Ray Kay)’ is a brutal way to introduce themselves. It’s needed as ‘Heads like empty cans’ is a fantastic ditty that surfs on the energy spilled before. Check the brawny solo, a moment of sheer fierce chops and fantastic drumming. Heavy, grungy and with a lot of meat. My fave track! ‘Part III (Jacob meets the Luvvites)’ is more fashion rock than anything else. It’s their AM radio moment. Whatever you feel about track three, the feelings about track 4 (‘Happily (N)ever After’) are a resounding yes. Gravelly voiced growls, more punk moments and a pure feeling of rock seeping out of the speakers. Go for this.
Letters – Older Motion Pictures
Very sneaky, you bastards. I read “cello” and thought either chamber pop (which is good) or folk (which is also good). Instead I got a gloopy mass of Unknown Horrors From Outer Space. You see, Letters play a gloomy side of pop, akin to what you’d get in the 80s, but slightly less morose. A happier Peter Murphy, a less pancaked Robert Smith, an ominous cello and a lot of atmosphere is what Letters is. Older Motion Pictures has a perfect gloom pop track called ‘Older Motion’ that would work wonders in the upcoming Autumn (or in this very rainy summer). ‘Tauran’ (bandcamp calls it ‘Torren’, though) is the lil’ sibling of ‘Older Motion’ until it suffers a grow spurt and stand proud and tall. ‘Explosions’ is sort of radio friendly but keeps a Gothic edge over the proceedings (organ!) and the delectable ‘Oh Fuck’ is the absolute crowning achievement of this band; it sports the darker shade that Letters aims for and then pulls a post-rock moment in the last minute or so. Cello arrangement here is gorgeous too. Enjoy with the rain (and then walk through it).
Black Feet Revolution – Out of the yard
A grungy (the adjective, not the genre) take on the blues rock revival, that’s what Black Feet Revolution‘s Out of the yard sounds like. Hailing from Mexico (paisas!), this is a collection of 5 bass heavy tracks with 6 fingers deeply embedded in the British sound of the early 70s and the other 4 in the superb sounds of American Rock. Opening track ‘Polotitlan’ goes for that Black Rebel Motorcycle Club meets Dan Sartain heavy and punky sound, with the Mexican Spirit beating hard (love the freaky Mariachi-light scream). You like some interesting bass lines? Go for ‘Black Feet’ and its smallpox infectious fretwork. You want a cool freak out? ‘Dead man’ is your psychedelic hit. Big props to the sax player on ‘U.H.U. Blues’, you’re a star.
Risky Heroes – She Said
The fashionable disco/post punk of Risky Heroes (survivors of the Rotherham Festival Hoopla of 2011) is back in this seven track EP called She Said. Feedback heavy ‘She Said’ is both punky and slightly baggy whereas ‘It’s been a while’ is more a meandering track, it jumps around like a liberated dog in a field, free to roam, chase and overexert itself, and then run some more. ‘Hangman’ and ‘David & Goliath’ are usually catchy live and this is not an exception in the EP, these are the stronger moments for the band. Spacier sounds are slightly clinged on in ‘Modern World’, the leftfield offering. A rockier side of Indie Pop. Best served lean.
Snorkel – One Long Conundrum
Uh oh, this is going to be hard. I’m always suspicious of EPs made up of one song and then an army of remixes. Snorkel’s One Long Conundrum landed on my desk and I worried. ‘One long conundrum’ is 9 and a half minutes of krautrock madness, a droning beat that serves as the digital foundations for several instruments to springboard into a sort of ethereal watering hole. It is massively impressive, more so after reading that the whole goshdarned thing was pretty much improvised by this 5 member army. Brilliant and perfectly executed, it’s a great calling card. Now, let’s go and open a hurt locker. ‘Wet Tongue (sculpture remix)’ gets an atmospheric remix with a fuzzy guitar, ‘Dead skin (crewdson remix)’ is a sexy number mixing some R & B with glitch-heavy dreaminess, the easier-to-access one of the lot. ‘Stop Machine (Robert Logan Remix)’ has its moments, but it could’ve been leaner. Sweet bass, and the later half is the best. ‘Loophole (Rome Pays Off Remix)’ is the one with the best aces up their sleeve and easily the remix that really got me groovy. Don’t get me wrong – remixes are always nice, but none of the ones present in One Long Conundrum will ever match the drone brilliance that is ‘One long conundrum’, although this doesn’t mean they are bad. Fuck it, I think I’ll be unfaithful to the unremixed track and elope with ‘Loophole’ and its sexy ending. Ace if you like experimental stuff (glitches, ambient, experimental).