Last year saw a debut EP from a UK band which had the potential to take emotive and atmospheric enterprise into a new depth of inciting invention. Generation Wars from Where The Skeletons Play was a dramatic and absorbing immersion into thick ambiences and enveloping passion drenched provocation, a release which made a striking imprint on the psyche and opened up a promise which held excitement in its hands. The duo of Stitch (vocals and all vocal effect) and Bones (all instrumentation) return with new release Serotonin Blueprints, an EP which made what came before seem like a mere appetizer. The six track emotive confrontation is a scintillating fire of imagination and invention, a compelling flame which musically and lyrically either burns brightly and vigorously or slowly with a far reaching smoulder, but always with an engrossing searing of thoughts and emotions.
Forming in 2011 as solely a studio project, the band reaped the essences of the likes of Pelican, Deftones Nine Inch Nails, and Tool, seeding them into their own potent form of rock. It is a sound which despite obvious references which can be placed alongside it, especially the Deftones one, evolves a unique breath and presence. Unpredictable and as diverse as any release, it is a sound as evidenced by Serotonin Blueprints which shares its heart and ingenuity not only with the ear, but the thoughts, imagination, and passion of the listener.
As a ‘creaking yawn’ creases the opening ambience of Perspex Queen, there is an instant sense of an impending and possibly intimidating atmosphere brewing. The first song on the EP gently opens its arms as emerging firm rhythms and an equally stoic breath of intensity fill the ear, it all eventually exploding into clear focus. Expressive angst drawn vocals sway and writhe within the now sinewy grip of rhythms and sonic temptation, their hold resisting full muscle but still intimidating within the mutually intrusive and inciting ambience. At times the track feels like it wants to declare its heart and shadows but when it does it comes with a spite and reluctance which overspills in attitude. It is a riveting soundscape of emotion and shadowed beauty, a personal expulsion unbridled in passion and framed by the outstanding bass lure and guitar sculpting.
The following Punctuate The Sky finds its fuel in the same emotive shadows as its predecessor but pushes it through sturdier metallic veins and energy, spearing it with a stoner/blues lilted groove and niggling bass pokes alongside acidic sonic scythes of intensity. Whereas first song had that Deftones/NIN there is a richer Kyuss/QOTSA flame to the second with a Placebo/Mind Museum spice, certainly vocally and melodically.
The outstanding If We Just Pretend…. is a thrilling evocation of mind and emotion, a song which teases and gently coaxes full engagement then expels tension fuelled shafts of sonic provocation and melodic persuasion honed into a lingering and cathartic fire. There is a familiarity about it at times, though there is nothing recognisable, which makes it soundtrack personal doubts and disappointments perfectly, its instinctive understanding wrapping every note and texture.
Your Innocence Exists is an acoustic led haunting, its vocals and lonely ambience casting their voices from a distant realm, a sheltered isolated stance offering whispered anguish. It is a fascinating and mesmeric temptation bringing further diversity to the EP and making a striking counter to the snarling title track. Serotonin Blueprints immediately growls and claws at the ear with resonating hunger but then reins it in with another atmosphere of unreserved impassioned utterances, their touch moving from reserved earnest persuasion to feverish potency, framed and coloured with an equally intense kaleidoscope of sonic imagination and melodic paint. As in every song the dark depths of the rhythms and bass hold everything tightly and set down amongst the blackest expression, and though at times, though not on this particular song, their contribution is a quieter prowl their heavy shadows shape the whole emotive alchemy.
Closing on the provocative piano led Serendipity, a piece of music as powerful and descriptive as anything on the release with its indistinct whispers and heart sourced despair, Serotonin Blueprints is a sensational release which not only feeds that promise we talked of fully but sets up even more staggering possibilities for Where The Skeletons Play, the thought that there is still much more within the pair exciting. This is a must check out release for all emotively bred appetites
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