After the acclaim that soaked their debut album Coloured Clutter, UK rock band The Savage Nomads return with the Tension In The Middle EP to justify previous opinions and inspire even more fervour and attention. Before the release the London quintet had set themselves up as one of the most exciting and promising emerging UK bands, the new EP takes that promise and turns it into a full reality. The sounds are unique, staggeringly imaginative, and wholly exhilarating, The Savage Nomads a band to fire up the heart.
With the likes of Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, Matt Johnson (The The), and Robyn Hitchcock adding their support and praise to the ever growing wealth of fans and media attention, the band has not looked back since their debut single The Magic Eye of last year. Consisting of vocalist and guitarist Cole Salewicz, guitarist Joe Gillick, bassist Josh Miles, drummer Billy Boone, and Aviram Barath on trumpet and synths, with all adding backing vocals, The Savage Nomads made a big impression when supporting Big Audio Dynamite, the band added to their Justice Tonight tour by the request of Jones.
Tension In The Middle brings the punk infused originality which ignited their album but with a more restrained and mellower intent, well if a subtler and more smoothly intrusive manipulation can be called mellow. The energy within the EP may not be as boisterous and excitable as on Coloured Clutter but it is just as eager and deeply infectious, the band bringing an evolution which is thoughtful and openly adventurous whilst retaining the core and irrepressible heart of their sound.
The title track opens up the release with a shadowed atmospheric grace and emotive wash. The spoken vocals of Salewicz reflect and unveil their thoughts over the fine piano pulses of Barath. The song littered with the excellent beats of Boone floats with a riled smoothness over the ear, bringing group harmonies and incisive guitar charms alongside the throatier basslines of Miles. The song equally caresses and scrapes the ear like a mix of The Three Johns and Babyshambles with Salewicz adding a Mark E Smith lilt to his vocals.
The excellent Four Personalities steps up next to bring a variation and slightly livelier breath to that of the opener. Tall velvety bass notes at the start announce the arrival of the guitars, their slicing of the air accompanied by blistered trumpet melodies and artillery driven rhythms. After a riled crescendo it drops into a hypnotic vein of bass riffs and sonic guitar manipulations. The track offers to explode at various times but never quite does take that final step and the result is compulsive. With the distinctness of Jazz Butcher and the manic energy of The Higsons the track is a growing infection which leaves one breathless. It is not an instant engagement but give a deserved attention it emerges as a magnificent piece of songwriting and inventiveness.
An Empty Seat from Coloured Clutter is included on the album and again is pure magic. Full of feisty energy and eager attention seeking guitars it riles emotions and thoughts up into a bedlam of excitement and rattled nerve ends. The song is part Baddies, and part Wire with Andy Partridge seemingly at the helm, a track bringing a post punk intensity with modern unbridled creativity. It was a true highlight of the album and is so again though its companions more than match it in adventure and imagination.
Completed by the radio edit of Tension In The Middle and a clean radio version of An Empty Seat, the EP is as impressive as one hoped and truthfully expected from the band. It offers up an even greater promise with its stylish change in presence and a reassurance that UK post punk and ingenuity are in safe and instinctive hands with The Savage Nomads.
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