Tricorn : Self Titled

The debut self titled album from UK stoner/rock band Tricorn is quite simply a cauldron of sweaty low slung throbbing riffs and beefy rhythms drenched in a scuzzed veined blanket of intense stripped to the bone essential rock. It is also rather tasty and a compulsive slab of adrenaline fuelled rock n roll to lose oneself within with great satisfaction.

Formed in 2008, the Portsmouth quartet of vocalist and rhythm guitarist Paxo Dyne, lead guitarist Constantine Droutsas, bassist Rob J., and drummer Simon Lopez according to their bio take influences from the likes of Black Sabbath, Motorhead, Alice In Chains and Queens Of The Stone Age. To that you can add flavours that come from similar gene pools as bands like Black Tusk, contemporaries Desert Storm and even Orange Goblin. Their music is not particularly demanding but consistently fully absorbing and a sound thick in intent and honest invention. At times the album suggests the band has yet to find their true voice but with a release that is so mighty and pleasing it is impossible to be anything but complimentary.

Released June 11th through their own imprint Need Sleep Records, the album immediately marks the senses with opener Step Outside. With a music box intro the track slaps down some muscular riffs to wake up the dead whilst throwing down simple but very pleasing torched melodies and gruff vocals. The track has a live essence devoid of unnecessary frills or wastefulness which is maybe not surprising considering the album was recorded in a mere six days but makes for a release that is loud, almost bullying, and real.

As good as the first track was the following Give Me Some More hits the mark even more accurately and deeply. The song raises heat and dust with a dirty insatiable groove and glorious overweight riffs to rile up the senses even more than the opener. Bruising and insistent the song is a mighty infection and the highest peak in a series of highlights which marks the album.

An intimidating strength and intense breath marks The Therapist whilst the rampant Where Did It Go crowds the ear with alcohol soaked melodic surges and chunky forceful riffs, both songs continuing the impressive sounds and power of the release with sure and skilled craft. The songs and album do not try to mesmerise with fiery shows of artistry or over played style but simply fires up attention and satisfaction through uncomplicated but irresistible southern rock n roll majesty.

The excellent Life Again inflames the passions with an enveloping sinister presence which leans on the ear with a menacing darkened groove and badgering riffs, its bulky energy more laid back than previous tracks in a confidence that it will capture its recipients fully. The grooved crush of Crawl and the slight Danzig toned Girl Lets Ride further lead the senses down avenues of feisty raw riffs and low tuned guitar pleasure to make the album an event to savour.

Closing on the beautifully oppressive and irrepressibly grooved Momentum, the album leaves one full to bursting with angry distorted riffs and tumultuous dark energy. It carries no pretence or thought other than to rummage through the heart with the heaviest and most fulfilling sounds. Tricorn have produced a must have release for a sure to have enjoyment.

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Broken Lungs: We’re In This Together EP

Not yet to reach their first year as a band, alternative rockers Broken Lungs release their debut EP We’re In This Together to inspire firm acclaim and even greater promise for the band ahead. The release may not be the finished article in some ways but stands ahead of a mass of releases from older and more mature bands in quality and melodic prowess.

Formed last August the Liverpool quartet of vocalist and guitarist Karl Eginton, lead guitarist Carl Fitzpatrick, alongside Alex Forde and Mark Highdale on bass and drums respectively, have worked hard and with a defined intent in forming and creating a sound which is as strikingly and keenly melodic as it is energised and passionate. The EP released June 11th, marks their first step into the gaze and ears of the UK and it is not too much of a stretch to imagine the band and their melodic rock sounds making a big and deep impression.

The release opens with the eager and sure We Stand Tall. The song immediately lays out the melodic skill of Broken Lungs as the guitars light up the senses amongst firm basslines and attentive rhythms. Though the song arguably lacks a bite to match the likes of Foo Fighters who many have compared some aspects of their sound to, the track has an infectiousness which grows as it plays within the ear. Vocalist Eginton has a great smooth voice matching the clean cut melodies of the song and all combined the song is an impressive start to the release.

I’m Done With Desperation follows next with a harder rock spine and energy. With a great gravelly bassline the song ripples with a deeper intensity against the sharper and more intrusive melodic patterns elsewhere within the song. Though not as instant as the opener the song shows diversity to the sound of the band and their songwriting strength. Again personally more of a snarl to it would have been welcome but it is hard to place any real criticism at its feet.

Next the band brings another assured rock fuelled entry to the release in the shape of Try As I Might. The track is an eager melodic stomp across the ear with more than a tinge of anthemic essence to its breath. It plays with an air of Jimmy Eats World meets Biffy Clyro, teasing the ear with an energetic purpose and emotive slowed down melodic grace. The sound is seemingly familiar which adds to its appeal and captivation, the lure of the song almost siren like.

Closing with the more restrained Alleyways and acoustic Lost At Sea, two songs which show the softer elements of the band though they do not quite find the heights of the other tracks, the EP is an impressive debut and a release that marks the band as one to keep a close eye on. The feeling is though that as time passes and the band evolves one will be hearing plenty of and from them without having to look. UK melodic rock looks to be in promising hands led by the impressive Broken Lungs.

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The Cory Smoot Experiment: When Worlds Collide

Listening to When Worlds Collide really brings home what a talent was lost to not only metal but music when Cory Smoot (A.K.A Flattus Maximus), guitarist with GWAR passed away last November. It is fair to say he was generally overlooked by far too many when talking about the great metal musicians but just one listen to this album easily sets the record straight. Without the sad background to the album it is a strikingly  impactful release leaving one open mouthed at the skill and imagination at work but knowing this is his last piece of impressive creativity brings a deeply sad yet celebratory emotion surging through thoughts as it excites and satisfies immensely.

The songs on When Worlds Collide were recorded in 2010 at Cory’s Karma Studios and were meant for a concept album called Religion is Fiction. The original idea was for Cory to record the tracks and then bring in some of his favourite and the best vocalists from within the Richmond metal scene, including frontman Dave Brockie from Gwar and Randy Blythe of Lamb of God. Due to scheduling problems this never materialised so he did the vocals himself and renamed the whole project The Cory Smoot Experiment. Cory completed the project just before what was to be his final tour with Gwar in the fall of 2011. Found dead in the band tour bus from a heart attack aged 34, he left the world with great memories and an album in When Worlds Collide which is destined to have a highly acclaimed place in metal for decades to come.

Though not quite flawless and at a few times feeling still not quite completed the album from its very first few seconds captivates and ignites nothing but enthused passion and deep stirring pleasure. The Blood Red opens with a guitar slicing the air with red hot sonic slashes of sound before the song erupts into a rampaging grooved infection. With grizzled understated vocals immersed within the commanding riffs and bulging rhythms the song bundles through the ear with excited muscular intent. The song also immediately sets the stall for the album in the bringing of a persistent array of flavours and sounds into a thunderous and inventive union, the song playing with a classic metal energy and almost grunge like breath.

The song slips right into Fortunate Sun next with its slow burning intensity and invasive presence. Heavy, atmospheric, and openly expressive the track reaps many essences from sludge and stoner sown fields to great effect. Though brief it is striking and makes the perfect seamless lead into its successor Religion Is Fiction. Apart from the great sounds the way the songs for the majority fluidly flow into each other no matter the fuel driving each strongly diverse and distinct song is another excellent aspect to the album. It brings a rolling energy to the album to give it an evolving and perpetually organic structure.

Religion Is Fiction is where the album truly ignites, the song a raging feast of intensity and great sounds. It is a maelstrom of grinds, grooves, and ravenous riffs to leave the senses breathless and the heart hungry for much more. Again short at barely two and a half minutes the track is a vicious aural predator which wastes no note or thought as it saturates the listener in pure metal contagion.

The corrosive violation of Rebirth feasts on the debris the previous track left behind whilst the stunning melodic and acoustically lined Brainfade sets an inspired respite before the death thrash assault of Mandatory Purgatory lays one on their back once more with its colossal unrelenting riffs and venom dripping groove. Again these tracks are very brief and it does add to the feeling that the album was not at its final completion and would have gone on to be a true all time classic if fate had not stepped forward.

The album simply continues to light up the ear and heart through the likes of Countdown To Oblivion, the blackened hearted The Gauntlet with its spiteful riffs and funked up mischief, and Hollow Tree with a glorious mesmeric bedlam of ideas and sounds. Ending on the unpredictable and surprising instrumental Sloth Loves Chunk, a jazz funk/progressive metal brew of invention, enterprise, and teasing, the album is a real treat for the ear and beyond.

With all proceeds of the album to be donated to The Smoot Family Fund which Gwar and Metal Blade Records set up to help provide  for Cory’s family, When Worlds Collide is quite simply a wonderful must have album offering a constant pleasure for metal fans of all preferences.

Go get the album here

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