This is the first release from the band and it is a short but delicious slice of what Dillinger Escape Plan would sound like if they were British. All the tracks are short and opening number “Small Town, Big Mouth” is under two mins of hardcore math-metal. Or metal math-hardcore. Whatever connotation you prefer, its fierce and sounds like something Dillinger Escape Plan would have recorded between “The Running Board” and “Calculating Infinity”. Full on riffing, gives way to time change, back to riffing (complete with semi-jazz licks that charge up and down the fretboard a la D.E.P).Slow heavy bit. End.
With a barely perceptible gap, all of a sudden were listening to “Shit Eating Grin” with more insane thrashing that suddenly gives way to a treble- jazz-y break that’s so Dillinger its ludicrous. This band is very talented and I like what they do, but it is impossible to listen to this EP without the “D” word coming up in my mind every 30 seconds. Normally this makes me consign bands to the copycat bin but it is more like Chronicles Of Adam West have taken the Dillinger sound and explored it for its full potential, rather than slavishly copied it. The little riff at the end of “Shit Eating Grin” that gives way to a quick burst of TV like white noise confirms for me that this band would be making music like this even if Dillinger did not exist… it would just have taken them longer to get there.
The technical abilities of the drummer and guitarist are a huge asset to this band giving them the ability to keep up with the best that Dillinger have to offer (although the drumming never quite makes your jaw fall open in the way that the Dillinger drummer did). That said they don’t show off unnecessarily, and songwriting is never far from their minds, as the delicate riff which makes up the body of “The Applicant” shows. I haven’t forgotten about the bassist, it’s just that it seems that bass has to be virtually subliminal on these kind of records nowadays. And the vocal…. well anyone can sound like Renwick in solitary confinement if they really want. This is not an insult, as the vocal is perfectly “in tune” with everything else going on. It’s just not what your mum would like that’s all.
“Corvus et Lupus” begins with what sounds a little like the intro to “Cape Fear” (as done by Fantomas), but it swiftly switches to a slow and sure mosh-up interspersed with bursts of what sounds like the whole band being thrown down some amplified stairs. It’s a bit like answering the door while still sleepy, being punched in the face by an angry skinhead and then having it soothed better by a lovely lady. Confusing but memorable.
“Showcat” starts off all post-rock and sweet, and yet again I am impressed by their ear for a good riff. This is the sort of tune that can entice in naïve listeners before raping their ears with the vicious, spiralling madness that the track becomes, after a cheeky little moment of guitar-lickery mid-song. The track tumbles over itself to bring the track and EP to a thoroughly satisfying conclusion.
I like this band and for a pretty paltry price the EP is available from http://www.holyroarrecords.com/