If the impossibly magnetic lures of Dead Shed Jokers have yet to make a play for your passions then the Welsh quintet has made the opportunity very easy with their latest EP Peculiar Pastimes. Available as a free download via their Bandcamp profile, the band has made one of those invitations only a fool would not go and investigate before greedily accept the rewards offered. Consisting of six contagion lit tracks, five of which are taken from a live session at BRFM Radio the band undertook this past July, the release is an enthralling explosive heat of sound with more dramatic spices than an Indian restaurant kitchen.
The title track opens up the richly satisfying encounter and immediately has a healthy appetite for its offering licking lips and attention rigidly in its hands. From an intriguing and haunting distant teasing the song erupts with intensive riffs and punchy rhythms rampaging through the ear whilst a guitar unleashes tendrils of melodic tempting which wrap tenderly yet rapaciously around the senses. It is a riotous fusion of noise and stoner clad rock, an instantly irresistible bait for the passions given extra toxicity with the strong vocals which add their urgent enthusiasm to the mix. Like a mix of The Dropper’s Neck and Queens Of The Stone Age but not, the track twists and turns like a wanton belly dancer, its sinews rippling within the energy and passions expelled by the outstanding storm of invention. Seduction and causticity go hand in hand as the track rages and draws the strongest, keenness submission from thoughts and emotions to its exceptional persuasion.
The next five tracks are live takes of songs, four of which appear in their original form on the band’s well-received and acclaimed album Peyote Smile which came out at the tail of 2011. Monkey Song is first and like its predecessor soon has the imagination lured into its embrace as a drifting blues temperance cast by guitar, harmonica, and a deep slow bass drawl coax the ears. Rhythms also take a restrained approach to the introduction, it all building up to the striking full stride of the track which takes little time to alternatively stomp forcibly or unwind a smouldering acidic tendril of enticement across the air. There is a classic rock and psychedelic essence to the fiery encounter, further evidence of the wealth of flavours the band take as inspiration and employ in their invention. The track as the subsequent ones reveal just how potent sound and band is live, something we should all indulge in at some point.
Interesting Point, But… follows next and like its predecessor takes a provocative and gentle hold on the ears at first before slipping up numerous gears and degrees of temperature to brew an incendiary and inciting stroll of sonic adventure. The entwining of restraint and full on rampancy again frequents this track making for a presence which has limbs treating the dirt to a rigorous thumping and lungs taking deep breaths in between the outbursts. It is an adrenaline fuelled and coaxing treat which is soon matched by The Memoirs of Mr Bryant, a shimmering sonic flame of evocative textures and fire bred melodic flames brought with a craft and passion which only impresses. There is a seemingly taunting like intent to the riffs and drum jabs tempered by the potent expression of the vocals and deeply hued colour of the melodies which raise the passions further, a combination which makes the song a heavy duty irresistible temptation.
The live cut of the title track is next and no cigar on guessing it too is an odds-on winner in securing total slavery of the heart, the track genius live or studio embraced. Its raucous presence is replaced by the sultriness of Magic Teatime, a song which leaves you basking in melodies which entrance and a passion which sears the imagination. There is a kind of formula to certainly a majority of songs presented on the EP, persistently twisting slow burns of suasion with crescendos of almost antagonistic energy and brawling intensity laid side by side. Equipped with a breath of The Doors and Bad Company the song is simply a lingering joy to end an invigorating release.
The Peculiar Pastimes EP and sound of Dead Shed Jokers come to that, has an open familiarity to it but simultaneously manages to sound unique in presence and effect. It is a refreshing and exciting experience which leaves the listener with only one option, go check out and grab the band’s album, better late than never.
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