Trendkill – Black Moon EP

Black Moon EP Review

Trendkill – Black Moon EP
Nil By Mouth Records
Release Date: 14/08/2018
Running Time: 23:04
Review by Mark Pritchard
8/10

I was recently asked if I would be interested in reviewing the EP “Black Moon” on behalf of the English based Groove/Thrash Metal band Trendkill, Admittedly I haven’t heard of them for long and this is the first chance I have had to listen to “Black Moon” but I couldn’t be happier to have been given the chance to review this awesome release and I really like listening to the combination of these five tracks. They cite their influences as Pantera, Megadeth and Rammstein, amongst others, and you can hear it in the songs that Trendkill have made. I do like me some Megadeth and Rammstein so it gives me the same feeling as when I listen to those bands, but these guys have their own take on the formula and from start to finish “Black Moon” is a really good EP to listen to whether it’s the instruments or the vocals!

Even though “Black Moon” contains only five songs they are really top notch and each brings its own intensity, not just from the lyrics but also how well the band play which creates even more enjoyment! It pains me that I haven’t heard of them for longer than I have but this gives me a way of jumping right in at the deep end with reviewing this awesome piece of work. Listening to this is so good that at moments during this review I’ve just sat back in my chair, hands on my head, looking up but with my eyes closed and taken a deep breath and it just gets better and better which in my book makes it much more than just five songs! Since I listened to the EP for the first time, I’ve not been able to stop and it took me until a few minutes ago to realise there is a repeat button so I don’t have to keep re-starting it myself!

From the guitar riffs and the bass to the drumming and vocals Trendkill have found such an amazing blend in the music they make and I can feel the passion with each strum of a guitar, each hit of the drum and each scream of the awesome vocals. These guys put everything they have into their songs and I officially love the EP. All the tracks stand out but put them together and it blows the senses. I am one lucky guy to have the chance to review this awesomeness.

Now comes the tough part and that is rating the EP and even though I love “Black Moon” it gets an 8/10. This is purely because I wish there was more of it. This is no reflection on the band. As for a favourite song there isn’t one that stands because I have enjoyed listening to the EP as a whole, rather than singular songs!

I want to say a huge thank you to Jonny Stern on Guitar, Isaac Edwards on Bass, Elliot Bartram on Vocals and last but not least Corey Bennett on drums who approached me about the possibility of reviewing. I cannot thank you guys enough and I leave a tracklist and band links below!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Renegade
02. Black Moon
03. Asylum
04. Playing God
05. The Host

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/trendkilluk/
https://trendkilluk.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/trendkilluk

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Mark Pritchard 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.

Nebula State – Take Us To Your Leader EP

Take Us To Your Leader EP Cover

Nebula State – Take Us To Your Leader EP
Self-Released
Release Date 21/03/2019
Running Time: 23:32
Review by Mark Pritchard
9/10

On the 11th February this year I received a message asking if I would be interested in doing an EP review and I said of course I would be happy to. The EP name is “Take Us To Your Leader” and it is by Midlands based Metalcore/Electronicore band “Nebula State”!

Even though it has taken me a while to review I have been listening to this ever since I received it. I had heard of Nebula State before, not much in all fairness, but some and I thought they were alright, but listening to this has made my opinion of them increase.

There is something I really like about listening to this selection of songs and that is it’s not all just in your face screaming, it balances the amount of both screaming and singing which is awesome and a great pick-me-up. The songs are great to listen to because, in a few, the instruments are really fast and heavy whereas the singing is so calm. This makes me feel really happy because it shows that even though they are an amazing Metalcore band, the word Metalcore doesn’t mean that they are just about screaming or grunting but sing as well with such finesse.

I will be straight up and say I really have enjoyed “Take Us To Your Leader”. It has been over a month since I received it and I can’t stop listening to it. I have listened to other albums but I have always been dragged back to this one because it’s ‘feel good; listening and as someone who has had writers block and has also been struggling with depression, listening to this cheers me up while going through the pain and I couldn’t ask much more from an EP. I, like many others enjoy listening to heavy metal, it’s what keeps me moving forward and Nebula State are the type of band which I need as part of my music listening to stay upbeat!

Now comes the toughest part which is the rating of the EP. Even though it is tough it is a key part to any review and so, with that said, the rating couldn’t be anything short of a 9/10, I love it so much but that isn’t the end of it. Within this storming collection of songs I have a favourite and that track is ‘Catch Me’. Vocally it is amazing and the song is beyond words so I couldn’t rate it any lower than a10/10. It’s one of those songs that you keep going back to even if you have the whole thing on repeat. I know that in my dark times I can turn to that song and I’ll start feeling better.

I would like to thank the members of the band Joey Grey – Vocals, Ethan Cottier – Guitar/Vocals, Aaron Sheriff – Drums and Kyle Jones – Bass Guitar. You guys have put so much work into “Take Us To Your Leader” and I am so happy to have been given the opportunity to review it.

TRACKLISTING:
01. This Poison
02. Your Monster
03. Catch Me
04. Black Aura
05. Darkness Descends
06. Broken Bones

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/NebulaState/
https://www.instagram.com/nebulastate/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1MB7BMydg0GpBENMy7EVRQ

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Mark Pritchard 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.

Pelugion – I

I EP Cover

Pelugion – I
Self-Released
Release Date: 04/08/2018
Running Time: 37:26
Review by Dawn King
9/10

On 27th July 2018, Ever Metal had the privilege and the honour to premier Pelugion’s video for the track ‘Bane Of Humanity’ and now we are proud to review their debut EP “I”.

Pelugion are a three-piece rock/metal outfit from Coventry, England and the trio, Andy Sweeney, John Pittaway and Brandon Balou, first met at college in September 2012 while they were studying music performance. They started off by doing Black Sabbath and Metallica covers at college gigs, but once the college days were over, they found new rehearsal rooms and wrote their first original track.

It was then that Pelugion was born!

The threesome gigged heavily around England, they won a slot playing the Godiva Festival, which is the UK’s biggest free family festival, and signed a management deal with FATangel Management and PR, as well as releasing a music video for the track ‘Serpent’s Mistress’. This extensive gigging gained them recognition for their energetic performances and massive sound.

In 2016, they released the song ‘Bide My Time’, which was produced, mixed and mastered at Woodworm Studio by Mike Exeter, who has worked with legends such as Black Sabbath, Dio and Judas Priest, and this grabbed the attention of Wildfire Festival in Scotland, where they performed later that year.

2017 was a busy year for them. They played the sold-out HRH Metal at the O2 Academy in Birmingham, were a special guest performer at the Mosh Against Cancer in Coventry, performed their first acoustic set at Uprising Festival in Leicester (which we also had the pleasure of reviewing) and embarked on a tour with Welsh heavyweights, Lifer!

2018 saw them head back to Wales for the popular Dementia Aware Fest and they once again appeared on the bill at Uprising. They also gained a spot at Bloodstock Festival in Derby after winning the Coventry Metal 2 The Masses and receiving worldwide radio airplay is helping them on their way to becoming an international band!

So, what of this fantastic EP? Well, I think I just said it. It’s fantastic! From the opening basslines of first track ‘Monster’ I knew this was going to be a killer EP. With influences such as Black Sabbath, Metallica, Megadeth, Soundgarden, Alterbridge, Black Label Society, Kyuss and Down, they have added their own unique twist on things to produce what can only be described as a stonking sound. Heavy, sometimes sludgy yet melodic and upbeat, if this EP doesn’t have you banging your head and throwing the horns then nothing will.

The EP is a collection of the band’s recordings to date, put together over a period of three years! Some of it has never been heard before, while some of it had only been available on digital format, but now for the first time it has all come together on CD, and really is a must for fans old and new.

This has everything a great EP should. Groove-laden, chunky riffs, melodic, powerful vocals with just the right amount of grit, funky bass lines and frantic drumming. Pelugion can seemingly turn their hand to anything, from the slow-tempo Sabbathesque type tracks to speedy and more thrash numbers.

We recently set up a page on the Ever Metal site showcasing bands we support and Pelugion were one of the first to be added to the list. This was due to their extreme capabilities, talent and hardworking ethic.

It may have taken three years to get this EP out, but if this is an indication of what is to come from this group of lads, then we all should be very excited about the future of metal.

Just don’t let it take three years for the follow up!

TRACKLIST:
1. Monster
2. Bide My Time
3. Desire
4. Bane Of Humanity
5. Remedy
6. Bury Me
7. Serpent’s Mistress
8. Believe

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/pelugion/
https://pelugion.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBqeFH9qFFkcu35PAQWVXxQ

https://www.instagram.com/pelugion/

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn 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.

Seven Hells – Prologue EP

Prologue EP Cover

Seven Hells – Prologue EP
Self-Signed
Release Date: 03/08/2018
Running Time: 17:35
Review by Mark Pritchard
9/10

As everyone knows I recently joined the team at Ever Metal as a reviewer, which I am happy about, and this will be my first official review as part of that team and what a band to start off with. For the last seven days I have been listening to Leicester based Metal band Seven Hells and their recent EP “Prologue”. When I was given the option of choosing something to review I saw these guys on the list and instantly requested if I could be the one to review it, thankfully I was given the go ahead and here I am.

This EP might only have four songs on it but they have a huge impact. When you listen to each track they are in your face with non-stop punching power. Seven Hells were formed in 2016 and for a first EP they have done brilliantly. Each song gives me a different feeling which I do enjoy because it shows the hard work and time put in by the band and having personally known the lead singer Marc Cross for the last few years, am very aware of his passion and how he puts everything into his music!

Each song is similar to listen to but, as I mentioned above, at the same time quite different. From the instruments in one song being played with a fast intensity to another being a little slower which allows you time to breathe. I have recently been really unwell and have listened to the EP whilst lying down. Listening this way has helped me a lot and the more I have listened the more soothing the tracks have become whilst still staying hard hitting!

Such is the quality, I have struggled to find one song that stands out more than any of the others on “Prologue” but, if I had to choose, the track I would pick is ‘Broken Bones’, which the band also released a video for. The gentle guitar intro, with calm, quiet and whispered vocals just draws me in and I cannot get enough of listening to this track. I would even go as far as to say I love this particular song! Even though Seven Hells only formed in 2016, it sounds like they have been together for much longer.

I’ve thought long and hard about how to rate this top notch EP. To be fair, I’ve had to discount my friendship with the lead singer, but I still cannot give it lower than a 9.

During a time where my physical health has been low, listening to the “Prologue” EP has been a breath of fresh air and has kept me fighting. As for the track ‘Broken Bones’ well I’m giving that a separate rating of 10/10 because I love it so much. If anyone wants to listen to a new, up and coming band then they need look no further than Seven Hells!

LINE-UP:
Oliver Wellings – Bass Guitar
Kris Elliott – Drums
Marc Cross – Vocalist
Simon Crofts – Lead Guitar
Dan Nelson – Rhythm Guitar

TRACKLISTING:
01. Resist
02. Broken Bones
03. We Will Rise
04. The Prophet

LINKS:
http://sevenhells.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/SevenHellsUK/

https://www.instagram.com/sevenhells_uk/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIOzfO5NxlBIaPpZsz381-A

Promo Pic1 Credit Will Tudor

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Mark Pritchard 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.

Photo Credit – Will Tudor

 

I,Assassin – I,Assassin EP

I, Assassin EP Cover

I,Assassin – I,Assassin EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 31/05/2018
Running Time: 19:01
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
7/10

I,Assassin are a 4-piece heavy rock outfit from Shrewsbury in Shropshire, forming in 2016 from the ashes of two ill-fated bands. The band is the “coming together of four distinctly different individuals unified under a single vision,” and that is to create and perform outstanding and infectious original rock music. They perform whenever and wherever they can until either, and in their words, “the wheels fall off or they achieve world domination!

With an old-school classic rocker on guitar, a hair metalist on bass, a pop-punk drummer and a metalcore singer, and influences so broad and diverse, it’s impossible to pinpoint their sound (which, to me, is always a good thing!) but they guarantee it “will be loud, it will be fast, and it will leave you with a grin from ear to ear.”

After perfecting their undefinable sound, they made their live debut in March 2017, to instant praise and acclaim, and a strong debut year followed. They performed as finalists in both the Metallum and Soundwaves competitions, and played numerous blistering headlining shows across the West Midlands, building themselves a name as one of the best live unsigned bands in the country.

This EP is a sonic juggernaut, full of big riffs, soaring choruses and a fist pumping drive, and their diversity is definitely one of their strengths. From the groove and presence of opening track ‘Survival’, to the fast and frantic ‘The Horde’, to the classic rock ballad of ‘Another Feeling’ and, finally, to the dynamic closer ‘Anthem’ this EP has a little bit of everything. ‘The Horde’ has been played on BBC Radio, and they have also been interviewed on BBC Radio in Shropshire.

I really did like this EP. At four tracks long and lasting just over nineteen minutes, it packs a lot into such a short space of time. The guitars are heavy yet melodic and the singer’s voice is actually quite unique. There is a bit of a drone to it that gives the lyrics personality and, mixed with the growls that sneak in every now and then, it makes for some powerful stuff.

As previously mentioned, each track on this EP is different from the last and this is where the band’s diversity shines through. They can write and perform a power ballad magnificently, yet at the same time produce a balls in your face metal track.

I hope the appeal of this band starts to spread further afield than the West Midlands as I would love to see them perform in London or the surrounding area sometime soon.

Keep up the good work boys! Next stop, an album??

TRACKLISTING:
1 Survival
2 The Horde
3 Another Feeling
4 Anthem

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/iassassinband/

https://www.instagram.com/iassassinband/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRXQ1hj5I2CqfFVkFjH49Qw

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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.

 

Behind The Smokescreen – Scars Within EP

Scars Within Cover

Behind The Smokescreen – Scars Within EP
Unsigned
Release Date: 01/06/2018
Running Time: 23:01
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
9/10

One thing we are proud of at Ever Metal is the diversity and range of music that we review. My last three reviews couldn’t have been any more different if I tried. I have gone from a progressive rock band to a 60’s/70’s influenced psychedelic band and now to this new EP from Greek band Behind The Smokescreen, an Aggressive / Groove metal outfit.

Formed in Ioannina, Greece, in 2013, the band is made up of Nikonas Tsolakos on vocals, Nasos Drougas on rhythm guitars and backing vocals, Kyriakos Magdalis on drums, Evaggelos Roukos on bass and Dimitris Lucas on lead guitars. The EP was mixed and mastered at Crown Audio Conspiracies by Achilleas Kalantzis and the cover artwork was designed by Giannis Tagmatarchis.

This is a band who wear their influences on their sleeve and have maintained a great respect and admiration for bands such as Pantera, Machinehead, Lamb of God and Black Label Society. I’m sure they would be the first to admit they are not trying to break any new ground with this EP, but it is still a stonking recording none the less.

The EP kicks off with ‘Too Ambitious’ and I absolutely loved the opening intro with its galloping guitars and heavy riffs that rumble in your belly. I was expecting really growling vocals to kick in (probably because experience has shown me that if I really love the music, I am going to hate the vocals!) but was pleasantly surprised when they didn’t. The vocals are aggressive and in your face, but at least you can still hear what the singer is singing and is even quite melodic in places.

The guitar work is fantastic throughout the EP and the solos are out of this world. The rhythm section is solid, and everybody seems to fit together perfectly. I do think a lot of the heavier bands are accused of “just making a noise” but it takes a lot of talent to be able to make a noise and it be as good as this EP!

My head was banging, and my foot was tapping the whole way through this and I just wished it lasted longer! I think these guys would be immense in a live setting so if I hear they are visiting London town at any point I will be there, with bells on! (well ok studs and buckles but you get my drift!)

I hope these guys are going to put out a full-length album soon but, in the meantime, I will go and check out their previously released album “Age of Corruption.” I suggest you all go and do the same!

As the famous Oliver once said…. please sir, can I have some more?!

TRACKLISTING:
1 Too Ambitious
2 Broken Is The Word
3 Future Re-Set
4 Shelter In I (Bonus)

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/behindthesmokescreengr
www.youtube.com/behindthesmokescreenvault
www.instagram.com/behind_the_smokescreenband
https://behindthesmokescreengr.bandcamp.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6xh34hCCkDQsMAAyWWy9mg

 

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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.

Torqued – Resurgence EP

Resurgence Cover

Torqued – Resurgence EP
Self released
Release date: July 2018
Running Time: 34 mins
Review by: Alun Jones
7/10

AAARRRGGH!! Run for your lives! The machines have risen, they’ll destroy us all! Humanity can never survive the relentless, cruel onslaught of metal machinery in revolt!
Wait, no – it’s OK. It’s just the start of the first track, ‘Forgotten Soul’, on Torqued’s brutal “Resurgence” EP. Phew, thank goodness for that…

Bursting out of the gates, this “groove laden heavy metal” trio call the southern UK their home. This is their debut EP, one I was keen to review having caught them live at last year’s Pentre Fest.

Both the opening song and the follow up, ‘Follow Me’, rage with a Machine Head like power. It’s full on, crunching metal – like Robocop driving a Mustang full-pelt into a tin can factory. Lead vocals are barked by Marc, who also handles the bass duties in satisfyingly chunky fashion.

Third track, ‘Overload, I Die Inside’ changes gears with a spellbinding instrumental opening section. I really loved the slow build up, starting with Kurt’s tribal pounding as Rimmy’s melodic guitar begins to chime. It builds to an Eastern sounding riff, before settling into a huge groove that would make classic Pantera jealous.

‘Hollow Core’ then shifts the pace up a bit, with another fierce yet catchy riff. Great spooky breakdown in the middle, too!

The final two tracks are live versions of tracks 3 and 4. Usually I’m sceptical about live tracks as just filler, but here they do serve to demonstrate that Torqued can dish this stuff up in a live setting.

The “Resurgence” EP is a great introduction to a band with a hell of a lot going for them. I’d like to hear a full album rather than just an EP, but have no fear – the next EP is on its way very soon. In the meantime, enjoy this initial sampler from Torqued, before your toaster or lawnmower try to kill you.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Forgotten Soul
02. Follow Me
03. Overload, I Die Inside
04. Hollow Core
05. Overload, I Die Inside (Live)
06. Hollow Core (Live)

LINKS:
https://torqued.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/Torquedband/

https://www.instagram.com/torquedbandofficial/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnEZPEZPeom9TDhm3nXM7kg/videos

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun 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.

 

Stew – Hot EP

Hot EP Cover

Stew – Hot EP
Unsigned
Release Date: 01/06/2018
Running Time: 17:13
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
9/10

Have you ever had that warm, fuzzy feeling of bliss and contentment when you stick a CD on and straight away it reminds you of times gone past? Yes? Well, that’s exactly the feeling I got when I started playing this new EP from Swedish band Stew. I didn’t really know what to expect as, once again, I hadn’t read the notes that came with the EP, but I was (very) pleasantly surprised.

Stew hail from Lindesberg / Ӧrebro in Sweden, forming in early 2017 and are made up of the power trio of Markus Asland on bass and vocals, Nicklas Jansson on guitar and Nicklas Dahlgren on drums. The music they play is a mix of classic rock, blues and soul, heavily influenced by the late 60’s and 70’s era.

The bands notes state that they play a “gritty and nostalgic fusion of classic rock and blues inspirations” and they are not wrong! You could almost have been transported back four decades as soon as this EP kicks in with the track ‘Might Be Keeping You’, which, by the way was picked for Classic Rock Magazine’s Best Of The Year in 2018!!

And Classic Rock, themselves, couldn’t have summed it up any better if they had tried; “spewing embers of psychedelic wonder, Stew emerged from Sweden this year with an album so far out that half of us still haven’t come back. This track is a highlight, a deep, rumbling ode to the days when metal was acid-rock and life was consistently wild.”

With groovy riffs, strong vocals (love this guy’s voice!) and swinging drums this is classic yet with a modern twist. With a little bit of blues, a little bit of rock and killer guitars, these guys have nailed the sound of the 60’s / 70’s with true musicianship.

With influences stated by the band including the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Free, Deep Purple, Grandfunk Railroad, Buddy Miles, Rory Gallagher and Spooky Tooth, these guys wouldn’t have been out of place at the great Woodstock Festival in 1969.

Despite only being around for just about two years, this band sounds like it is a seasoned veteran of the 60’s and 70’s and have decided to get back together for a reunion tour, playing all their old hits.

I loved this EP from the very moment it started and the only gripe I have with it is that’s it’s just not long enough! Just as I am really getting into it, it finishes. So, my next comment would be, I am REALLY looking forward to an album when one is done. I think that would be on my play list for a very long time to come!

The only other thing I can comment on about this EP and band is the fact that they are unsigned! Why these guys haven’t been snapped up by a record company is beyond me, but I hope they are very soon. With a little bit of support, Stew could really go places!!

TRACKLISTING:
1 Might Be Keeping You
2 If This Will Be
3 Tongue Tied
4 Dig For Gold

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/stewsweden/
https://twitter.com/Stew13434878
https://www.instagram.com/stew_band/
https://stew1.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh6gQxEftIRnjg_nxDmThwQ

 

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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.

 

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.