EP Round Up : Grassoline, Gunning For Tamar, Fashoda Crisis & Oh No! Yoko!


Heeeeeeeeeeey, it’s been a long time since we’ve done one of these. Actually, no, we did one last week. DID YOU READ IT?

Dafuq you mean “no”? We write these for you!

Oh well, may Jeremy Clarkson in a thong haunt your dreams. WELCOME to our lovely EP round up, I’m your very entertaining (and slightly wacky) host, Orestes P. Xistos, climbing the pecking order in this shithole of a website (TM) one brown nose at a time.

In our usual analogy form, we will be comparing each of these EPs to something cool and entertaining. For this week’s edition, I’m comparing each EP to a member of the Fantastic Four. Not the boring old quartet, but the cool ones. Which ones? Read on.

Grassoline – Mountain and grave

There’s something werid happening in England. I can’t fully explain it, but I find it interesting that the Northern part of this country has such a love of the Americana genre, fiddles and banjos and all. Grassoline, from Chesterfield, created Mountain and grave, a six song collection of  lovely bluegrass music for the spittoon enthusiast that wishes they’d lived in another time. I wish I did! ‘Mary Moonbeams’ is a lovely intro to this collection, where guitar, lap steel and mandolin lead the dance while a fiddle and bass lit the place around. ‘Where the birds have no song’ is an utter gem; a slow pilgrimage through the grassy knolls of the Peaks with only a canteen of tea and a whisky flask.

‘My mountain, my grave’ is a pretty stark number, a reminder that all times past weren’t as rose-coloured as we imagine them. It’s a very mournful moment, where the “Luke Haines with a twang” vocals tell a pretty sombre affair. ‘Out on the air’ might be more for the ones wanting to do a slow dance at the next barndance. It’s a balance of the slow, the mournful and the slightly earnest pace that the blue-collar-pleasing genre of Bluegrass demands. It’s achieved here, and then some.

This EP is: Luke Cage, never afraid to get its hands dirty, always ready for a tussle up.

Gunning for Tamar – Camera Lucida

The powerful and immense Gunning For Tamar are back with another EP, called Camera Lucida, and it’s full of expansive atmospheres, fierce crescendos and vocals full of longing. ‘Yogging’ kickstarts (oh!) the proceedings with a beautiful piano juxtaposed to a dreamy arpeggio. Every instruments enters solemnly in this song whose extended intro just raises the bar quite far. The bar is kept high and mighty with ‘Lights, Daggers and Faces’, the angsty one of the bunch. I wanna join them in the “It wears me down” line, delivered with much panache. Perfect song.

‘Another season’ finds them as seasoned pros of math rock and for that I adore them; never a note is wasted, never is an emotion left untouched. ‘Swallower’ is more straighforward (or as straightforward as you can get with these guys), rocking out with utmost distortion. ‘How to set fire to your hands’ closes and it’s a bittersweet one: you enjoy it but you’re a wee sad that this is the last one. Lovely end, though, with that powerful instrumental bridge/atmospheric goodbye.

This EP is: Johnny Storm, in full SuperNova form “flame on!”, devastating everything around. Ace!

Fashoda Crisis – The Jowls of Justice

They are sonic witches! I saw them! It’s true. Fashoda Crisis offer The Jowls of Justice like they offer the souls of a million jet black souls to their evil overlord, Voltaire (never trust a French philosopher). This sick, satanic collection of tracks starts with ‘Plutonium Tea Party’, very garage and desperate. The schizophrenic barrage of rock ideas (some borrowed, most original) leads into stream-of-consciousness vocal delivery that makes ‘Hunting the poor for sport’ (aka Jeremy Clarkson’s Easter Sunday special) a fierce track, not to be ignored, even if it lasts a bit too short.

We’ve already reviewed ‘Horatio’ and I can’t think of anything to add except that it defines what this band is about. The only update is that the protagonist of this video is now in your lasagne. Rocking way to go. ‘Another disappointing product from the Simon Smith broken promises factory’ might not reach the lyrical platitudes of Pearl Jam‘s ‘Elderly woman behind counter in a small town’ but it certainly packs a punch, with its slightly deranged vocal delivery and disconcerting atmosphere. ‘I am very real’. I know, that’s why I fear you, Fashoda Crisis from Southend on Sea and your transgressive rock sensibilities. Arguably the most digestible song of the bunch, by no means it’s the most normal. Crackin’ end for the EP.

And for Krist Novoselic‘s sakes… THIS BAND DOES NOT SOUND LIKE SYSTEM OF A DOWN. Phew, thank you, needed to get that off my chest. I like both bands and I still can’t get why someone even brought this comparison (I’m looking at you, ex-reviewer from Leeds…)

This EP is: Namorita, surfacing from time to time to bask in the sun and steal your chips. Curses!

Oh No! Yoko! – Sorrow

The spectral sounds you float through the first minutes of Sorrow are called ‘Sorrow’, a mournful but dreamy intro to this collection of lovely songs by these Crazy Canucks called Oh No! Yoko! ‘Mimi Ash’ is the obvious belter here, a track with happy punk sensibilities but some math rock loveliness for you wanting a better meal. ‘Gerry’ is more math rock than anything else and eveyone knows this is a genre that makes the staff of this shithole of a website (TM) happy and dancey. ‘Gerry’ is very likeable and I might dare say it’s the arpeggiated crown of this lovely EP. ‘Sorrow 2’ is not an instrumental one and whereas its twin sibling was ethereal, this one is more tangible, like a sinkhole that suddenly traps the unwary rambler.

I love this math pop EP!

This EP is: Ghost Rider, spirit of vengeance, who uses his Penance Stare to look down on anyone who paid for that travesty of a film with Nic Cage. Return your Oscar, dude. By the way, I’m referring to Danny Ketch GR, not the original one. Yes, I’m single AND a virgin. Thank you.


That’s it. This is the EP round up. Be thankful I never mentioned the time Sue Storm merged with an evil version of herself in her mind that wore rather revealing clothes. #everydaysexism indeed! And no, I don’t even consider Ant-man an honorary member of the Fantastic Four. he’s a wifebeater! Jerk!

By the way, H.E.R.B.I.E. grooves to this. 

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