SkyBurnsRed - Madness & Reason EP
Colour Change 4 Camouflage - Chromataphorium EP
It is a bit of a different Gig Monkey column this month. Due to a scarcity of decent gigs that fitted in with my diary I am giving you a couple of music reviews instead.
Originality in the current musical climate is an increasingly tough commodity to come by. But, among all of the X Factor manufactured tosh and Coldplay clones there still sparkles some individuality. And the Monkey has been listening to 2 local bands who are striving for originality, with differing results.
SkyBurnsRed – Madness & Reason EP
First up is one of the more distinctive sounding bands on the Swindon scene. They take a pretty standard heavy rock / grunge type sound, with big drums and bigger guitars but add in a violinist. This on paper sounds odd, but actually works very well. The violin blends seamlessly, whether adding a new dimension to the rhythm track or taking a more lead role. And this gets beefed out with more strings on some tracks, which gives a very Biffy Clyro type of sound. And also like the Scottish rockers, there is a fairly distinct vocal style too, in this case all husky, breathy tones that initially you think won’t have much depth and reach the notes. But, reach them they do, majestically. This five track EP has some great writing on it, lyrically and melodically. Opener Lost at Sea and middle track Monochrome are particularly impressive efforts, that retain a heavy, moody dynamic but still have a real melody to hook in to. It left this old Grunge Monkey nostalgic for the early 90’s, and excited at what is to come from this band as we are promised new material soon.
Colour Change For Camouflage – Chromatophorium EP
Oxford band CC4C are also endeavouring for a different sound, mixing up elements of indie, rock, pop, punk hip hop and assorted other influences. And it sounds like it. It is all a bit messy and incoherent, giving the feeling they are still searching for their sound. Kind of like tequila with lemon but no salt, that final ingredient is missing. But, given time maybe the salt will turn up and the party can start. Because musically there is plenty of interest going on, with creative guitar lines and choppy, disco rhythms galore. Tempos are changed up and down through the course of the EP, and they have certainly latched on to some interesting ideas. However, they are too few and far between to really command your attention, and I really struggled to get to grips with the female lead vocal. I couldn’t work out if she was aiming for a particular style I didn’t get, or was having an off day, attempting to veer from Siouxsie Sioux to Tracey Chapman via some very wobbly off key stuff. All in all it was rather distracting. But, there are some signs of promise, and as a young band in their infancy there is the possibility of them locating that missing ingredient.
Now, where did I put the salt?
SkyBurnsRed are on: http://www.skyburnsred.com