Dale Barclay, on guitar and vocals, gives a front-man strength lacking in many contemporary, young outfits. According to reviews, he is dynamite live, and I well believe it. He can segue seamlessly from a whisper to shout and has no qualms about letting rip vocally. I’d hate to be his vocal coach! He is also a skilled guitarist, judging particularly by his flamenco inspired opening riffs on “Tiger by the Tail”. Bass work from William Coombe has me reminiscing about the Birthday Party, the influence of which can be heard especially on “Nighttime”. In fact the whole album has a fairly bass-driven sound, adding to the darkness.
Most surprising is the drumming of Jordan Hutchison. The expected thrashing is there, but so too is some subtle work on numbers such as “Heading for Heartbreak” and “Nighttime”.
The outfit has also coughed up some solid lyrics, with a fair smattering of wit, for example on “I’m a Vampire” we get Barclay’s gorgeous accent screaming out “She’s more beautiful than any woman I’ve ever met/and she f***ing knows it.”
If you like grunge, Birthday Party, Bad Seeds et al, then grab this and have a listen. I think they’re, possibly, a band to see live, but this album is a pretty respectable debut.
Reviewed by Tracey Korsten