Spudgun Assassins – Spudgun Assassins EP

Spudgun Assassins EP Cover

Spudgun Assassins – Spudgun Assassins EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 03/05/2018
Running Time: 30:00
Review by Vikkie Richmond
7/10

I can’t resist doing a cheeky review of a band with a silly name; I’m pretty sure that the Spudgun Assassins more than qualifies under that banner. As The Spud Boys (an affectionate term coined by themselves) have been together since 2008, I’m surprised to be seeing an EP from them now, ten years on. However, if only all bands that decide to give it a go had such longevity; in a time of bands quitting left, right and centre after six months to a year because they haven’t ‘made it’, kudos must go to the Spuds for keeping it together.

So, we know they are tenacious, but can they do a tune? Opening track, ‘Believe In Me’ could be something straight out of an 80’s film; with twanging guitar chords and echoing effects, you can imagine the original brat pack (maybe Tom Cruise, or Emilio Estevez) looking moodily at the cameras whilst a collage of rolling video plays behind them, with gelled quiffs and shoulder pads aplenty. It bounced along at a fair old pace, with some vintage vocal harmonies and clipping percussion.

‘Fool When You Need Me’ started off with some trippy effects and harmonics; it wasn’t quite as ‘vintage’ as the first song, but it still had a whiff of ‘classic’ about it and I’m pretty sure I heard some cowbell in there too (which I wholeheartedly and thoroughly encourage). Special mention goes to ’Blind’; a gloriously cheesy affair, with key changes and heart-warming harmonies aplenty.

I have fond memories of the 80’s, so I enjoyed this EP, but it does make me think that I’m missing something; are the Spudgun Assassins some sort of ironic homage to days gone by? I’m not actually sure if that’s what they have intentionally gone for, but that’s sort of how it came across. Glibness aside and tongue firmly out of cheek, I quite liked it because although they’re not really breaking any new ground, this EP is sort of comforting, like shrugging on an old, comfy leather jacket that you’d forgotten you own.

They’re also pretty good musicians (although the intro to ‘Watch Me Fall’ is a bit clunky), so you could do a lot worse than take a listen; do it and let us know what YOU think! I’m going to leave it on repeat for a while … I might go and backcomb my hair, play some air guitar and sing into my hairbrush whilst I’m at it.

TRACK LISTING:
01 Believe In Me
02 Fool When You Need Me
03 Let’s Do It Again
04 What Do You Wish For?
05 Blind
06 Watch Me Fall

LINKS:
http://www.spudgunassassins.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/spudgunassassins

https://www.youtube.com/user/spudgunassassins

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Vikkie ‘Queen of Rock’ Richmond and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Novacrow – Black Syrup EP + Criminal Mastermind EP

01 Black Syrup EP Cover

Novacrow – Black Syrup EP + Criminal Mastermind EP
Black Syrup – Self Released 12-03-2016
Criminal Mastermind – Self Released 16-11-2018
Running Time Black Syrup: 19:45
Running Time Criminal Mastermind: 17:40
Review by Beth Jones
7/10

Novacrow are a young band that first popped onto our radar at RockWich this year. We bought their first EP “Black Syrup” then, and I had intentions of doing a review for it, but time has run away with me yet again. So now, with the release of their second EP “Criminal Mastermind” I am going to give you two reviews for the price of one! Think of it as a Christmas special!

Hailing from Liverpool, Novacrow are a fourpiece of young and vibrant musicians with a zany sense of humour, and this is purveyed perfectly by their music. They have a bit of a horror vibe going on, but a healthy dose of on-stage craziness and over the top facial expressions really brings out their sense of fun and makes them compelling to watch. If ACME did Alice Cooper, this is what it would look like! Musically they have a great sleazy, heavy rock sound, with catchy melodies that are easy to sing along to.

The first EP “Black Syrup” is a really good offering as a first release. It has some great, funky bass lines, provided by Federico “Freddy” Spera, with Valerio Pompili providing good, solid rhythms on drums, and grungy, sludgy guitar from Jonyx. This is all rounded off nicely by the powerful vocals and additional guitar of Kitty Staunton, with her vocals set high in the mix, cutting above everything else with clarity and precision.

The EP is five tracks in all, but my favourite is ‘Fight The Horde’, because it has lots of distinct sections, a racing pace, and some great guitar riffs and solo work. The backing vocals provided by Jonyx and Freddy also cut through brilliantly and make the song feel really full. It is a great track to bang your head to and makes you want to move!

I also want to mention ‘Colourless’. This is only a short track but is beautiful in a melancholy sort of way. It is an instrumental piece with classic style guitar and bass, and minimal percussion. In real contrast to the other tracks, it creates an ethereal and haunting end to the release.

02 Criminal Mastermind EP Cover

Fast forward two years and the newly released EP “Criminal Mastermind”. It is still the same old madcap craziness that makes it Novacrow, but you can tell that it is two years further down the line. The production is more thought out and the songs are even more creative.

The guys have ventured a lot further into their backing vocal roll on the first track, ‘Fever Swamp’, which really adds an extra layer to the sound. It is a good punchy track and a great way to kick off the EP.

It all gets a little darker with the second track, ‘Laughing Gas’, which has a much more sinister feel to it. Kitty’s vocals soar high, in an almost wailing banshee style, which gives you a slightly unnerved feeling! It is in complete contrast to the very funny third track ‘Criminal Mastermind’ (if you haven’t seen the video for this, it is a must watch for comedy genius value).

The final two tracks on the EP are again quite dark and twisted, bringing a psychotic air to the proceedings. The final track, ‘Are You Happy’ is my favourite track because it is so dark! In a minor key, and 3/4-time signature, giving it the feel of some sort of freaks waltz. Combined with an odd, funfair style wind organ drone in the background, and strange music-box like twinkly bells, it combines many things that would be the stuff of nightmares. It is brilliantly clever. Kitty’s vocals are, as ever, impeccable as well. Love it!

You may be wondering why I have only scored them a 7/10 collectively for both EPs – well I figure that, whilst these two are great, they still have more to give. I, for one, cannot wait to see how they move on now, and what new weird and wonderful creations come out of the Novacrow mad science lab! Seriously for fans of zany theatrical rock, these really are the band for you to keep a very close eye on.

Black Syrup EP Tracklist:
1. Fat Frog
2. Fight The Horde
3. Black Syrup
4. Set In Stone
5. Colourless

Criminal Mastermind EP Tracklist
1. Fever Swamp
2. Laughing Gas
3. Criminal Mastermind
4. Lab Rat
5. Are You Happy?

Promotional Photograph courtesy of 82 Photography

Links:
https://www.novacrowofficial.com
https://www.facebook.com/novacrowofficial

https://www.instagram.com/novacrowband/

https://www.youtube.com/user/kittysynthetica
Promo Pic1 - 82 Photography (Please Quote)

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Zero Theorem – Ataraxis EP

Ataraxis EP Cover

Zero Theorem – Ataraxis EP
Tunecore on ShimSham, LLC
Release Date: 04/05/2018
Running Time: 20:44
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
9/10

Since I started on my reviewing journey, I have started to appreciate a few things when it comes to music. One is that you should never base your opinion of an album by the band’s name or the artwork (common sense really but it’s surprising how many bands could get discarded by a listener just because their name suggests an “alternative” genre.) The second is that, despite the music industry as a whole trying to pigeon hole bands into stereotypical genres, there are bands that just do not fall into one particular style.

Zero Theorem are a band that both statements apply to. I didn’t really know what to think when I first plugged my little USB stick into my car to listen to this album. Their name suggested to me either a very progressive band or a death metal one. Opposite ends of the spectrum I agree but Zero Theorem are neither of these.

Blending alternative hard rock with the rhythmic and uncompromising intensity of metal, these are a band that can cover a whole range of genres, having drawn early comparisons to the likes of Disturbed, Five Finger Death Punch and Tool.

Initially set up as a cross country collaboration between cousins, Caesar, who was based in Chicago, and Joe Scarlotti, based in Los Angeles, they began writing songs by sending digital files to each other. Caesar eventually relocated to Los Angeles to further his musical ambitions and the first Zero Theorem demos were recorded in 2017.

Through word of mouth and tireless networking in Los Angeles, the band came together with guitarist Max Georgiev, bassist Eloy Palacios and drummer Jake Hayden, and work began on turning the demos into finished songs, all production work carried out by Kane Churko (Papa Roach, Five Finger Death Punch, In This Moment) at The Hideout Recording Studios in Las Vegas.

The band soon gained notoriety as a live act by performing with Doyle, Hed PE, Art of Dying and Motograter, to name but a few, and since late 2017, the single “Area” has steadily climbed in the Active Rock radio charts, and even jumped into the top 35, as well as being featured on various key hard rock play lists.

So, what of the EP?

“The Zero Theorem sound is groove metal with big melodies and some progressive material mixed in. Heavy metal itself is a lifestyle choice and we strive to embody that with both substance and wit,” says vocalist Caesar. And I couldn’t agree more.

The EP begins with the explosive “Euthanasia”, a strong song to let us know just what we are to expect for the next twenty minutes. Or so we think!

First single “Area” is melodic and haunting, while fourth track “Rorschach” is heavy and abrasive, probably the heaviest on the EP.

Title track “Ataraxis” is slower-paced but just as well executed as any of the faster ones, and it is with this track that their similarity with the band Tool is noticeable. Time changes all over the place, Caesar’s dark and brooding voice, which makes him such a powerful frontman, easily comparable to that of Maynard James Keenan, lead vocalist with Tool.

This is an excellent and impressive debut. Its heavy yet melodic, with stomping riffs, and driving, bombastic grooves. They make not be the next best thing but they are certainly well on the way. If they continue to produce music of this quality and calibre then they could well be one of the top metal acts of the time.

This EP is only twenty minutes long but what a twenty minutes! I listened to this over and over and over and over again and never once got bored with it.

All I can say, is go grab yourself a copy and see for yourself just what this band can do.
Keep up the good work guys and I’ll see you at a gig in London sometime hopefully!!

TRACK LISTING:
Euthanize
Area
Becoming
Rorschach
Ataraxis
Low

SOCIAL MEDIA:
http://www.zerotheoremband.com/about/
https://en-gb.facebook.com/zerotheoremband/
https://twitter.com/ztheoremband?lang=en

Promo Pic1

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.