Music Release Reviews (Page 2)

2 Reviews (2 New)
A Dark and Scary Place

Loom, by Loom

Label: Silent Cult Records

May 2017

Loom is a Punk trio from home-grown Leamington Spa, comprising frontman Tarik Badwan, Matt Marsh, and Joshua Fitzgerald. They have previously put out two low-key cassette releases, the latter showcasing covers of their influences. This self-titled album is their first proper CD. It is released via Silent Cult Records, and distributed by Red Essential...

This may be Punk, but a few different styles are on show here in an attempt to mix it up and not be pigeonholed. It is closer to the American examples than the 1970s British Punk Rock, which you might expect. At lower levels the singer’s voice at times resembles Iggy Pop (which is certainly no bad thing). The best compositions are the first five tracks – even if they do contain song titles such as 'Hate', and 'Lice'! They are Grungy and have more of a hook. The idea seems to be to play guitar in the verses that is somewhat out of context with the rest of the band (even to the extent of sounding off-key), so when it’s done more conventionally in the chorus it sounds all the more "together". These first few even have singalong moments (perhaps if you’re listening in the car alone; you wouldn’t want to frighten the wildlife!).

Touches of The Ramones can be detected, but it’s probably a lot closer to The Misfits. The second half of the album is where it gets more experimental. There’s a form of psychedelia which creeps in, with a slower pace and even more weird guitar… to the extent it sounds like he’s playing a different song to the others.

So, like football, this is a game of two halves. Accordingly, my rating here reflects the better first half.

Verdict: 7 out of 10

(Review originally written by Ty Power for reviewgraveyard 2017)

Burst, by Brutus

Label: Hassle Records

February 2017

Brutus is a heavy atmospheric trio hailing from Leuven in Belgium. It comprises singing drummer Stefanie Mannaerts, guitarist Stijn Vanhoegaerden, and Peter Mulders’ bass. Initially, the latter two played as a tribute to Swedish band Refused, but after Stefanie turned-up to an audition and blew them away with her talent, the trio went in their own direction. Burst, released by Hassle Records, is the debut album. The tracks are: 'March', 'All Along', 'Not Caring', 'Justice De Julia II', 'Drive', 'Bird', 'Crack / Waste', 'Looking For Love on Devils Mountain', 'Horde II', 'Baby Seal', and 'Child'.

I was quite intrigued at the prospect of hearing a band that the music press, such as NME and Kerrang!, has said so many remarkable things about. It seems that Brutus is described slightly differently by practically everyone who hears them. Rock sub-genres include: Punk, Metal, Heavy Rock, Psycho Pop!, Trash, Mogwai, Hardcore, and many more. My own view is Heavy Pop Punk. The road drill-consistent Tsunami of sound is penetrated by high-pitch (even shrill) vocals which are rather disconcerting in the first instance. It seems so out of place and, although the shock wears off a little, the tone of the singing is almost universally monotone. This is a shame, because there are some interesting guitar hooks which are rather tainted by the air-raid siren singing at the hands of the drummer. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t suppose it’s easy. I can hardly drum with any sort of competence, let alone sing at the same time.

This unusual singing and drumming combination means that most of the best beats are in the instrumental parts, which have their moments. The stand-out track is 'Justice De Julia II', as the construction of the song is eminently different. It features the only change of pace for the vocals, giving a taste of how varied the songs could have been. There are some nice guitar pieces in it, too. Perhaps a shorter E.P. would have had significantly more impact, but this album-length release I find too ‘samey’.

Verdict: 5 out of 10

(Review originally written by Ty Power for reviewgraveyard 2017)