Raw adrenaline soaked rock ‘n’ roll coated in a dirty feisty embrace is never a sound to ignore and the new release from Finnish rockers The Memphis 77 is certainly no exception. Consisting of four riotous blazes of energetic, bruising, guitar sculpted fire, the new EP Get Alive! is a richly satisfying encounter. Released digitally and as a 7” vinyl via Secret Entertainment, the record is a high intensity explosion of energy and raw infectious sounds and a release to put The Memphis 77 on the map of wide awareness.
Hailing from Lappeenranta, The Memphis 77 was started in 2009 by guitarists Jimmy Scissors and Rodney Pistoléro, the aim to create and play real rock n’ roll music, something which was absent in the previous projects and was not rewarding artistically the energy and time given. Recruiting long-time friends in bassist Paul Graven and drummer J. Slider as well as vocalist Pete South, the band worked on their sound and songs with the last weeks of the year seeing the release of debut EP Born in a Body Bag. Following release the Licks to Please EP was recorded the next year with its release to strong responses and acclaim coming in April of 2011. The seven track release put the band on the radar of a great many but was followed by changes in the line-up with the departure of Pistoléro and Slider. South took over second guitar in addition to his vocal duties and after an intensive search the band found Sammy Lee to take over the sticks. The latter part of last year saw the band record Get Alive! and a video for the lead track, and as the impact of the EP is surely set to reach out to even more eager ears, the band has a schedule of touring and writing songs for their first album planned.
The mentioned lead song from the EP is Small Time Lovers, the first track on the impressive release. A crisp clump of beats sets up the instantaneous onslaught of gripping riff and an equally immediate contagious groove. The song is into its stride within seconds gripping the ear with fiery sonic inducement and anthemic temptation from the squalling tones of South and the incendiary beats of Lee. The song rampages with mere swifts breaths quickly taken within the direct attack for any kind of respite from its flaming energy and persuasive confrontation. It is a sweaty dirt clad gem of a song which recruits the primal energy and passion of the listener with relentless ease.
The following No, Buddy has a slight dip in its intensity without reducing its muscular force and effect, the hooked melodic persuasion an addict forming tease and the thumping rhythms a spiteful conspirator to further raise the ardour of the already enthralled heart. As across the release there is nothing strikingly new going on within the song, but for two minutes plus it is just honest, undiluted rock ‘n’ roll at its hungry best.
The other two brawls are just as impressive and greedily devoured by the senses and passions; both Get a Life (and Fucking Die) and Back to Where It Started punk ‘n’ roll encounters which ignite the appetite further for the band and their mighty sound. The bass of Graven is especially throaty and compelling within the first of the two whilst the vocals of South supported by the rest of the band, and the contagious groove and swagger of the song, leave only a heightened craving for their debut full-length effort. The final song slaps the senses with even more potent sinews and synapse carving guitar craft for a closing storm of pleasing and invigorating pleasure. Arguably the weakest song on the release it is still a formidable and fully persuasive pull into the heart of The Memphis 77 and their incendiary sound.
Get Alive! is an outstanding EP and for some of us the very welcome introduction to a band which will be lighting up our days with further glories one suspects.
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