(Out Now on Warner)
NO-ONE COULD HAVE GENUINELY EXPECTED a duo that only formed in 2013, to release a full-length album quite as mature and sophisticated as this. Although having won over and supported Arctic Monkeys already we should perhaps not be completely surprised. Despite it’s clear descendency, singer/guitarist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher have produced a record full of knockout guitars and revealing vocals. White Stripes comparisons are inevitable, although they may be more closely aligned to Jack White’s side-supergroup The Dead Weather, it’s by no means a suffocating similarity. With Tom Dalgety’s crisp, punchy production suited perfectly to the rich garage-blues flavour of the material, most of this record is good enough to have graced any rated opus from either of the scene forerunners.
Opener Out Of The Black crawls malevolently on all fours, with Kerr spewing forth as the song twists like a cornered snake, while Figure It Out and Little Monster both feature some fine vocalisin’ and soon to be patented beefy hooklines. The sub-3 minute Loose Change emerges as a half-way highlight, swiftly followed by Careless which segues from a simple off-kilter melody into an aural nail bomb. Slice after slice of omnipotently powerful song writing suggests the work of a group that knows it’s here to stay, as QOTSA-styled rocker Ten Ton Skeleton demonstrates by kicking severe buffalo hide all over the place.
Emerging from the fertile breeding ground that is the Brighton Rock scene, these dudes are destined to be contenders. Still searching perhaps for a sound they can truly call their own, they’ve stumbled upon a formula for this here debut that’s forceful, unrestricted and convincing. Everything edgy and accessible Rock should be. (8)