With a sound you could describe as punk folk, certainly a proposition which casts a striking and bold adventure which hits home lyrically and musically with an inescapable honesty, the Glenn Hodge Banned provides one rigorously riveting encounter with the Iconoclast EP. It is an irresistible stroll of lyrical and vocal incitement which captivates from start to finish in an embrace of equally entrancing sounds. The band offers five tracks which whether addictively catchy or emotively gentle, spark imagination and feelings with relish to spark a greedy hunger for more.
Based in London, Glenn Hodge began life in Ashford, Kent, being raised in East Anglia before moving to the capital. There he found further inspirations to the folk seeded musical canvas his compelling lyrical and vocal talents colour. Musically too Hodge breeds provocative scenery as evidenced by the new release whilst onstage whether solo or alongside other like-minded musicians, he has earned a fine reputation on the London music scene. Earlier this year debut single Faces on Tables caught the imagination of many leading to potent anticipation for the Iconoclast EP. The new release builds on that rich start with a handful of explorations which focus on city life, personal relationships, and honest social commentary, all with a tinge of mischief and resonating veracity.
The EP immediately grips attention with opener Ignoramus, an initial throaty strum soon standing side by side with the distinctive and compelling vocals of Hodge. His voice has a quirky lilt to its tone which only adds to the lure and drama of songs. Voice and a lone riff continue to seduce the senses for the bulk of song as its lyrical painting sparks the imagination, before guitars and strings bring their own increasing revelry to the growing captivation. Vigorously infectious, the song enlisting listener participation with sublime ease, it is a colourful portrait of a city’s social landscape, melodies and strings bringing evocative hues to the enthralling insight.
The following Intrepid Thing saunters in with its own contagious sway of chords and vibrant melodies. Strings make a swifter entrance this time, instantly adding depth to the engaging entrance of the song. There is a Celtic whisper to the folk bred beauty of the music which holds attention as firmly as the ever impressing vocals, but it is the contagion sculpted chorus which ignites the passions most potently, again a moment which has feet and voice unable to avoid joining in with the anthemic persuasion. Maybe hard to imagine, but the song comes over like a mix of Kirsty MacColl and Frank Turner, and as its predecessor is just exceptional.
Wasted Labour keeps the outstanding level of the EP going; its sultry melodies and stringed incitement a resourceful caress on ears as Hodge shows further expanse and vivacity to his voice, almost breaking into a roar for the chorus which is another ridiculously addictive and anthemic moment on the EP, as the stunning song as a whole.
The final two songs do not quite match the first trio but each with their distinctive characters still leave a want and need to hear more. English Folk brings a slight country twang to its rich tapestry of strings, smouldering Irish seeded melodies, and vocal union which engrosses as it deeply pleases. As the rest of the encounters, it is impossible to leave the proposition alone with voice and toes, the song another organic anthem mentally and physically which is emulated by the closing C U Next Tuesday. A little spikey and ridiculously addictive, the track is a magnetic union of guitar and voice which takes its time to employ other spices, saving them for a rousing finale.
Glenn Hodge Banned is a proposition to set ears and thoughts alight, and push passions towards a tenacious greed. The Iconoclast EP is an exceptional incitement providing the fullest of pleasure and enterprise whilst suggesting you should expect to hear plenty more triumphs from Glenn Hodge and his band ahead.
The Iconoclast EP is available on September 22nd