I can usually remember how I discover a band but Voodoo Blood aren’t one of these bands. What I do know, however, is that they’re a damn good band and their debut EP, Anabolic Blues did exactly what it said on the tin: it was blues on a shitload of steroids.
They’ve since travelled up and down the country including a couple of visits north of the border, won their local Metal 2 the Masses and subsequently played at Bloodstock and aren’t about to slow down any time soon. Powered by new EP, Fresh Hell, it’s everything that’s great about Voodoo Blood multiplied by a hundred.
It’s darker, heavier, more self-assured and polished than its predecessor. This is a release which can only come from a band who have spent the last two years performing together and continuing to push themselves. Opening track “Brain” is a seven-minute monster and immediately shows the band’s growth. As Kimberly “The Voodoo Woman” Jennett screams and growls her way through the song backed by the ferocious guitar of Sean Owens, the band aren’t taking any prisoners.
There’s lighter moments on the EP, too despite its doom-infused opening. “I Go to Bed (When the Sun Comes Up)” has the bounce of The Temperance Movement’s “Three Bulleits” but loaded with more groove and crunch. Meanwhile, “Mean” has the swagger of Slash’s Snakepit and early Rival Sons, Chris Norris’ rumbles threateningly throughout as Jennett spits and snarls her vocals. Elsewhere, “Dirt” doesn’t invite you to headbang with Will Lewis’ drums – it forces you to. Monolithic and overpowering, if the song wasn’t quite as melodic, you could imagine this being a Black Label Society song.
Fresh Hell is everything a band should aspire to with a follow-up release. There’s better production values coming from a tighter and more experienced band who are determined to advance their sound. If you already know this band, the quality over these four tracks won’t surprise you. As more bands become content by following a formula, Voodoo Blood have given us something the UK rock scene badly needs right now – originality.
Fresh Hell is released on 30th June with a launch gig at Manchester’s Bread Shed