Short Cuts: UNKNOWN DECOY / THEM FIXES / THE ALGAL BLOOM / BLACK KING COBRA
UNKNOWN DECOY – ‘Seeking the Sun’ (EP)
Possibly one of the most schizophrenic releases you’ll ever hear, ‘Seeking the Sun’ mixes so many elements from so many hard rock and metal genres that it will make your head spin. UNKNOWN DECOY must have had a huge amount of fun writing and recording these five tracks and you can easily spend your time picking apart their various influences whilst just getting lost in the endless twists and turns.
The band hail from Finland so there’s not too much of a surprise when the first track, ‘Davaj’ is the sort of great-sounding Euro Hard Rock as brought by bands such as Scorpions, Europe and Bonfire. So far, so normal. Following this ‘Test Animal’ is an altogether much heavier and almost different beast. Just as entertaining and exhilarating, this one needs to be played a lot louder. ‘Praise the Sun’ then turns the band into a grinding, more early Black Sabbath style act, replete with Angel Witch type sense of melody and harmonies whilst fourth track ‘The Men’ mashes up funk and thrash.
Closing track ‘Flash’ is another multi-layered affair that throws the doomy, Sabbath moments in with some Blue Oyster Cult upbeat sections and drops in some of the operatic stadium rock of Muse. Arguably the most off the wall Finnish band since Lordi, UNKNOWN DECOY are going all out to blow minds and you’ve got to love them for that.
THEM FIXES – ‘Electric Prophetic’ (EP)
Duo, THEM FIXES bring their powerhouse rolling stoner rock all the way from Nashville and display the same style of intensity that makes the mighty Clutch so darn good. ‘Kill the Nights’ would fit perfectly onto any of the recent albums by Neil Fallon’s crew, heavy and with a potency that demands to be listened to.
The more straight-ahead, ‘Fangs’ is a high energy number and ‘Wake the Dead’ is a dense brew, a miasma of outlaw thunder and dynamite blasts. Bringing up the rear, ‘Xanic’ bends towards more of an indie style whilst scattered through with flecks of Queens of the Stone Age. It’s amazing just how much noise two people can bring.
THE ALGAL BLOOM – The Algal Bloom (EP)
There’s thankfully been a real surge in the popularity of Americana of recent years and that can’t be a bad thing. This wonderful mix of rock, country and folk have highlighted some of the great traditions of both songwriting and playing and THE ALGAL BLOOM have nailed this perfectly. The EP provides four tracks of bliss, from the lovely opener ‘Learn to Swim’ through to the closer ‘Walkin’ we are treated to a band drenched in the tasty guitar, soul and spirit of those free days of the late ’60s and early ’70s. There is very much to enjoy in here and fans of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Janis Joplin will find something they will love, the last track, in particular, is so epic and life-affirming that it’s worth the price of entry into their world alone.
BLACK KING COBRA – ‘Lie Through My Teeth’ (Single)
These guys might just become your new favourite new band as ‘Lie Through My Teeth’ is one of the most irresistible slices of modern rock you’ll hear all year. From the bouncy but tough intro through to its cool guitar licks, great vocals, superb arrangement and a groove that’s almost pop but with a real bite, this sounds like some of the best rock music to make the charts in the last twenty years. Check them out now, go on, you know you want to and let’s be honest, who doesn’t need great music in their life?