Sunday, May 10, 2009

GraVil - Age Of Corruption
Bitter To The Core

Ok so they have a splash of keyboard so going so far as labeling this Anglo-Scandinavian death metal duo (Gra being the English frontispiece and Vil the Scandinavian Dr Frankenstein labouring away at pretty much all else) ‘symphonic’ may be pushing it, but if it makes some unsuspecting Lacuna Coil or Evanesence aficionado cough up their silver then hopefully they’ll choke on these notes. Joking aside about their being several million of them to make that a likelihood, this melodic piles, or pyre, of bile-riddled melodic thrash is of a stupendously high order and that’s about the least of it. Helmsman especially, reveals a neat line in lyrical trickery, spat out more discernibly than possibly any death metal record ever, perhaps something to do with them actually having something worth coughing and spluttering into your / our slovenly visages about. Along with the assault of Heviosity (Will Ensue) they dare deviate from the deathprint and rattle around with undertones of metalcore and even hip-hop style delivery amid the usual dismembering barrage of rhythmic spasms enough to make you leave limbs in the room and be a viable sick note from work, just do something useful with the time, not least utilizing the inside sleeve cartoon of a skull with judge’s wig on holding aloft a charge sheet including ‘Unsolicited Enlightenment’, ‘Unauthorised Use Of Free Will’ and ‘Gross Use Of Freedom Of Speech’. The debut full-lengther to come should capitalise on these twenty minutes for a coruscating descent through society's sick charades.
Stu Gibson
Rocket To Memphis - Hip Shakin' Voodoo

Showing there’s power enough in many an old swamp to suck you down into come this quaking quartet from Perth, Australia. Pleasingly forgoing the apparently too easy to resist temptation of glib Stray Cats or Cramps going-overs or clattering through the already too cluttered closets of psychobilly while dressed in Lucky 13 clobber and sporting spider tattoos, Betty Bombhell and her rocketeers Death Rattle Dave, Razor Jack and Voodoo Viv tread an altogether more seductive path to lure you into their uncertain but marvelously murky depths of lizard slink. For starters they actually do creak out Creole mambas and tiki twirls, with Betty’s deceptively demure vocals and Jack’s crooked knee angular guitar suggestive of Marc Ribot’s work with Tom Waits on Rain Dogs helping them to stand out further by several strides, and when they both come to a head they increase the already impossibly sexy She's My Witch and No Kissin' At The Hop to near ridiculously chilling stakes of enticing wildness somewhere within. A sultry shimmery sway through fog-laden nights and sinister death-glam discos that stand as eerily inviting detours from the overflowing drive-ins of run of the mill rockabilly of little or no regard.
Stu Gibson
LiVid - One
Plastic Head

Classic rawk all the way from, erm, Stoke via Sunset ’87 and a few gyrations short of adequacy, as you may expect. All starts damn scintillatingly (incidentally it ends sorta similarly too, just what’s in the middle doesn’t, um, stand up to much) on a bedrock of blues-based chugging guitars and siren wail harmonics, screeching vocals that refreshes the parts Lizzy Borden’s axe could never reach but may strike you more Toby Jepson (yeah yeah, I know the singer from Little Angels’ name, fuck it I have no shame) than Sebastian Bach. In the world of dire bands bending your ears with ersatz eighties monster rock this is a pretty fair stab though shares the similar lack of staying power amidst the histrionics common to many a contender of the LA ilk. There’s a stench of too much box-ticking with requisite ballads Deserve and Can't Find Home, Led Zep In An Elevator grind of Devils Bones and funk gristle on Slide Song. Not at all bad but you ain’t gonna love it, an album with the frenetic intensity of opener Freakshow would be the way forward but sadly (for them) that ain’t to be as they play it safe and recline in the succour of the middle ground.
Stu Gibson
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