Hailing from The Midlands, this new rock quad kicks a tight, punchy sound with heavy grunge overtones. Their debut EP John Lee, Bullet & Love follows a 3-track self-titled single/EP and already shows a progression and a developing maturity.
Opening track “Coherence” marries melodic vocals with a range of tones and sound effects to keep you tuned in and turned on. The song seems to swim along a standard structure until the bridge treats us to a taste of some superb syncopation followed neatly by a classic guitar solo. Just enough to give the discerning rock fan a smile of appreciation without getting egotistic.
“Mr. Philosophy” follows with a crunchy, catchy riff not too far from a Stone Temple Pilots sound and yet the band are not reminiscent of any one particular band from the early 90s rock/grunge scene at all. Vocally and musically we could be hearing some Maynard James Keenan influences here but again, not a copycat band by any stretch of the imagination.
A slower starting “Vector Man” leads you to thinking that a ballad could be on the cards, and whilst the opening lines expose singer Kirk Shuttleworth’s vocal delicacy, the full speed-metal riff quickly cuts in to remind you these guys have their feet firmly planted in the heavy rock persuasion. A neat bass section toward the end of the track precedes a solid staccato finish after which you can just imagine the roar of thousands of fans kicking in at a live gig.
Finishing with “Mary Scotch” we can really start to get the feel for what this seriously skilled foursome is trying to say and where they want to be on the music spectrum. If it were me I may have shuffled the order of tracks as I just get the sense that the final track is not the strongest of the collection and I’m all one for finishing things on a high note. That said, this hugely enjoyable EP gives us a real teaser of things to come for Fires That Divide. Here we have four impressive tracks that are completely current and yet comfortably familiar-sounding and without doubt leaving you wanting more. So bring on the full length album – soon!
Already achieving sell-out gigs and successful festival sets on top of a range of local shows this year, the future is bright for Kirk, Steven, Steve and Marc. Our gig reviewer Sam caught them opening the festivities this month at Fort Fest.
You can download the EP over on Amazon.
Header image by Katie Frost Photography.