EXTENDED PLAY: Bite Size Chunks Of Musical Mayhem Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Mark Ashby   
Saturday, 20 May 2017 04:00

So, here we are with another bunch of ye olde extended players – and an eclectic mix it is once again, from “loud and shouty” alt-punk through prog to some fairly brutal deathcore and gothic noir nonsense, via a group of undoubted rock goddesses making their long overdue return… so, let’s jump right in and immerse ourselves…

 

Kovax - ‘If There Was Ever Any Doubt’ (Self-Released)

 

Cover Art - If There Was Ever Any DoubtThis Leeds quartet describes themselves as “loud and shouty”, and elsewhere have been compared to “the musical equivalent of stepping Lego”: they certainly fit their own assertion, and, on the evidence of the four tracks presented here, I can see how the latter descriptive also is extremely apt. ‘If There…’, the band’s debut EP following two well-received single releases last year, is four short stabs of alt-punk fury, with brisk guitars and in your face vocal assaults that are impactful in both their delivery and the result they leave behind. Standout track for me is ‘Waves’ (these boys love their one-word song titles, which helps to add to the immediacy of what they do), with its punchy riff and metalcore-style mix of gruff and clean vocals: no guttural death screams here mind you, just lyrics spat out after being dragged over a broken Bucky bottle. This EP hits hard, and certainly will cement their deservedly growing reputation as one of the finest young alt-punk bands on the circuit. A few decent support slots under their belt undoubtedly will help as well.

 

‘If There Was Ever Any Doubt’ is out now. You can buy your copy HERE.

 

www.facebook.com/kovaxtheband/

 

Rock Goddess – ‘It’s More Than Rock And Roll’ (Bite You To Death Records)

 

Rock GoddessBack in the early Eighties, there were very few sights more guaranteed to get a young(er) metallian’s blood racing than the sight of a sexy female clad in leather and wielding a low slung guitar… and Rock Goddess definitely sent quite a few guys to the nearest A&E with palpitations of the severely sweaty kind. Well, 30 fucking years later - they’re back! OK, they’ve been playing the more-than-occasional live gig since their reformation in 2014, but now they’re back with their first brand new recordings in some three decades – and it’s as if they’ve never been away! The title track is a defiant statement of intent, screaming out of the speakers with the vengeance of a rejuvenated Valkyrie: Jody Turner’s vocal snaps and snarls, declaring “it’s what we scream and shout for”. The girls may have been “off the scene” for a while, but rock ‘n’f’n’ roll still defiantly courses through their veins, and they’re determined to prove it. ‘Back Off’ is even more in your face: a fist-punch in the face to young pretenders such as The Amorettes, which affirms “hey, we can still kick yer arses up and down the alley”, while ‘We’re All Metal’ is the sort of cheesy fist-pumping horn-raising anthem that all us metallians love and adore: yes, it’s rammed to the gills with all the usual clichés but it’s glorious in its cheeky homage. Looking better than ever, Rock Goddess have proved that they are still a more than relevant force on the British heavy metal scene.

 

‘It’s More Than Rock And Roll’ is out now. You can buy your copy HERE.

 

Rock Goddess play The Borderline on Friday 23 June.

 

www.facebook.com/Rockgoddessrocks/

 

The Parallax Method – ‘The Squid’ (Self-Released)

 

The Parallax MethodNow, I’m going to make a terrible admission here… I’m a closet proggie! There: it’s out. Back when I was at school, many millennia ago, my mate Paul and I used to spend our Saturday afternoons ‘round in his house listening to endless repeats of Yes’ ‘Tales…’ or Genesis’ ‘Supper’s Ready’ or the latest it Bites album… There was just something about it that balanced out my angry teenage metallic metabolism. The Parallax Method very much follow in the footsteps of that Brit-prog tradition, with this five-track concept offering… these guys seem to have a thing about animals, as their first EP was called ‘The Owl’, to which this is very much a planned follow up, with the tracks numbered six through ten and continued references in the song titles: indeed, these guys have some great titles, with ‘Donald Sutherland And His Magnificent mane’ and ‘I Squid You Farewell (Owl Be Seeing You)’ my particular favourites in that regard. As for the music? Well, it’s pretty much what you would expect – angular guitars cutting across and through myriad time changes, layers of harmonics belying the fact that this is just a three-piece (with narry a keyboard in sight). Danny Beardsley’s guitar work is exemplary throughout, combining plenty of jazz miens into his work, and the EP flows well, sounding like a singular entity. If you love some of the old school progsters referenced above, and young pretenders such as Between The Buried And Me and Karnivool, then this will be right up your street.

 

‘The Squid’ is out now. You can buy your copy HERE.

 

www.facebook.com/theparallaxmethod/

 

Triverse Massacre – ‘Hades’ (Self-Released)

 

Triverse MassacreCarlisle’s Triverse Massacre sure as fuck know how to deliver an aural beatdown, as the deathcore assault of this, their third EP in their seven-year history, is as vicious and brutal slice of metallic mayhem as your likely to come across this year. Drawing on the groove of the likes of Lamb Of God and At The Gates, especially in their rhythms, the band truly capture the intense dynamic of pure DM that many of their counterparts in this particular subgenre (deathcore, that is, for those that aren’t paying attention) seem to somehow omit. Liam Stark’s vocals are guttural and acerbic, sounding like he’s ripping his heart out through his throat, while the twin guitars of James Graham and Chris Kelsall twists and snarl with venomous intent, all the while retaining that all important sense of harmony and melody within the viciousness of their riffage. Bassist Jason McEwan is solid and taut, just as you need in this mien – but, OMG… Mike Collins’ drumming is off the muthafuckin’ radar: it’s an immense performance, with his blastbeats and double kicks threatening to smash the sub-woofers on my massive PA system. Brutally magnificent.

 

‘Hades’ is released on Friday (26 May).

 

www.facebook.com/TriverseMassacre/

 

Victorient – ‘Revolutions Part One’ (Raphaelite Records)

 

VictorientRevolutionsPart1The husband-and-wife duo who make up Victorient have produced one of those gloriously difficult to categorize EPs, which brings together an apparently conflicting disparity of sounds, from the dark Eighties electronica of Depeche Mode through the gothic noirishness of the Sisters Of Mercy, with elements of industrial steampunk and doom thrown in for good measure. The first of two mini-albums, the four tracks here are as eclectic as they are confusing, the multi-layered density of Sam Dunham-Carter’s musical soundscapes topped off with Tansy’s ethereal Regan-meets-Siouxsie-meets-Toyah vocals floating and dancing across them – although there could have been a bit more emphasis on Mrs DC in the mix, as she often sounds like she’s standing in the corridor outside the studio. In fact, the whole production is as messy as the song structures, which bounce from one genre to the next without any fluidity, often jarring in their transitions from one sound to the next. A pity, because there are some promising moments, as shown no more clearly than on lead track ‘Ghost City’, which possesses a suitable dark vibrancy amid its proggy pretension.

 

‘Revolutions Part One’ is released on 12 June.

 

www.facebook.com/victorientband/

 

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