An album which exiles predictability and narrow directions, Monkey See, Monkey Do Doo the debut album from UK band Semitt Falls, is a mightily impressive and intriguing gem. Ever twisting and evolving the release makes expectations redundant and guessing what is ahead pointless such is diverse and potent invention. For those who need to label bands and tag their sound Semitt Falls will be a nightmare, they are a band which makes music which hits their own sweet spot however it is inspired and ends up sounding. This is proven by the album, a collection of songs which follow no pattern or set course but are linked through immense quality soaked in the deepest contagion. If you need an initial description of the band, their bio says ambient/meta/drum and bass, but as the songs show that merely scratches the surface.
The Manchester band formed earlier this year, when following the demise of post-hardcore outfit Halt Under Heavy Fire, Paul Kendrick (guitar, vocals and programming) from the band linked up with ex-Fortune Favours Nothing member Danny Houghton (drums). The pair brought in another previous member of Halt Under Heavy Fire in Jay Kane (vocals and synths) alongside ex- Son of Shinobi Craig Gilroy (vocals and bass). Combined the quartet has created an album which not only marks the band as one of the brightest and inventive in British rock music right now but one bursting even greater things ahead.
The album descends upon the senses with the stirring and riotous opener The Warrior. Muscular and stormy it is a feisty dazzle which ignites the passions and energies most releases leave untouched. The drums of Houghton bring one to their knees with power and tight control whilst the keys explore and immerse one in a scorched and blistering weave of melodic majesty. With the muscle of Silent Descent and the acidic tones of Enter Shikari to it, the song is a tremendous and attention grabbing start.
Still trying to catch a breath after the initial introduction the next song whips it away again before it can be consumed whilst offering the first example of the perpetual diversity which wonderfully fuels the sound of the band. Late For Drum And Bass Reasons is the best track on the album by far which considering the quality elsewhere is a mark of how good it is. The band ruptures drum and bass sounds whilst filling the fissures with incisive melodic rock and ragga tinged beats. Twisting and winding around the ear like a sonic python the track leaves one lost in a sizzling groove of manipulative imagination amidst a corruptive maze of wickedness. Illegally addictive the song leaves the atmosphere sizzling and senses smouldering with its electronic force and corrupting power. Think Pendulum, Hadouken, and Shrikes in an unbridled mosh with Skindred and Collisions and you get a whiff of the goodness inciting every pore.
The melodic De.Fi.Ant with its heated melodic ambience confronts the ear next It is a track which is again pleasingly muscular at times yet enchantingly peaceful in others, a seamless blend skilfully created and brought throughout the track. The lead vocals of Kane as with the previous tracks show a range and ability to play with multiple deliveries which is outstanding and like the music keeps things on a consistently shifting edge. Though over three minutes long the song feels so brief, a sign of the perpetual enjoyment it offers.
Tracks like We Hid The Sun with its more post hardcore tones and Displacement, a song of mesmeric beauty wrapped in raw shadows, continue to leave one full of admiration, surprise, and satisfaction. Normally with a band which brings so many distinctly different sounds and ideas you thing a group unsure of their direction and intent. This never occurs with Semitt Fall, everything so instinctively right and perfectly fitting you know it is a band simply conjuring music which fires up their unique creative inferno with skill and incisive invention.
Ending with the pulsating The Loneliest Spaceman, a song which has a rock air reminding of a Thrice or Hundred Reasons wrapped up in surging electro energies, the album is one of the most startling and enterprising releases in a long time. It is a towering beginning giving Semitt Falls a lot to live up to in the future though it is hard to imagine they are not up to it.
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