WAVES OF FURY
Alive Naturalsound CD/LP
Stomping debut from this West Country quartet who channel Stax and Motown influences through gobsmacking punk influences and update the whole sonic blast with a burst of high energy hjinks accumulated on lengthy tours throughout the Southern US. Put on your thinking caps and you might hear a tad of the old ‘Downtown’ piano riff trickling into opener ‘Death of a Vampire’ before Bim Williams’ Spiritualized-style brass washes over you. Vocalist/shouter Carter Sharp emotes in a healthy Iggy snarl as if he’s the vampire in question begging for his life! There’s some down-and-dirty, anthemic pleading in his vocals that will take getting used to, particularly due to the over-distorted quality of the production which tends to drown his efforts in extreme overmodulation, rending him occasionally unintelligible.
But the songs are powerful enough to overcome these setbacks, particularly the Bar-Kays-influenced ‘Businessman’s Guide To Witchcraft’, with its ‘Soul Finger’-ish brass pronouncements, and the JAMC-worshipping ‘Pretender Soul’. If they can rein in Sharp’s tendency to break into over-the-top, Iggy-meets-Cave impersonations and tighten up some of the disjointed, turn-on-a-dime song arrangements, they’ll certainly have a killer of a sophomore effort. But this is a strong beginning from a talented bunch of lads with the right influences, and the short-and-sweet ‘Nervous Exhaustion' suggests they have quite a few tender ballads in them, while epic closer ‘Viodrene’ suggests the spirit of Otis is alive and well and hovering somewhere over the Somerset hills.