Taking little time to excite but increasing its psychedelic seduction with every listen, the Mammoth EP from UK psych rockers Pale Fires, is a tenacious little offering which just does not let go even after it physically departs. With flirtatious hooks, transfixing melodies, and raw sonic temptation, the release grows from a flavoursome warm proposition into a glorious shimmering blaze over time whilst its creators show themselves to be a prospect to breed real anticipation over for their subsequent growth.
Formed in 2010, the Camden quartet of vocalist Leo Runswich, guitarist Oli Swan, bassist Harry Wreathall, and drummer Jean Stevens has built an eagerly followed presence across London and beyond, igniting audiences across venues such as The Cavern Club, 93 Feet East, The Purple Turtle, and Scala with their explosive set. Their EP Louring Skies earlier this year has equally wowed acclaim and support but it is with the Mammoth EP that a sense of something about to break for the band is truly inspired. It has a festering potency which as mentioned makes a strong first touch but continues to expand and enslave over time through six tracks which are as enthralling as they are fuzzily striking.
Opener River simply cups ears in a rhythmic enticing to set release and attentive appetite in motion before laying out a gentle scuzz lit stroll of guitar aligned to bass bred shadows and the distinctive tones of Runswich. Into its stride the song swings with a gentle melodic sway whilst guitars turn up the sonic heat in between the vocal coaxing. Runswich has a voice somewhere between Boy George and Brian Molko and increasingly impresses as song and subsequently EP immerses ears and imagination. There is not a real fire to the first song, at times missing the spark to ignite as expected, yet it is a smouldering temptation which dances with ears and passions for a highly enjoyable start to Mammoth.
The following title track offers a heavier toned bass coaxing from the off, its throaty bluster inciting a greater fiery breath in the guitars and their intensive sonic designs wrapping the excellent track. That wind relaxes for Runswich’s vocals caress before breaking tout again across the mesmeric heart and rumble of the track. A fuller sixties psychedelic wash and warmth flows through the song than in its predecessor, taking the listener on a sultrily glazed shoegaze infused harmonic flight. The song simmers feistily throughout, again never coming to a boiling point but flourishing in its temptation before the brilliant Peace Of Mind glides in. Once again shadows and melodic flames converge and merge around the senses, gentle grooves seducing as vocals invite subsequent sonic roars to join the irresistible slavery of the passions. When the track’s kindling does catch to set a fire, it is veined by superb guitar enterprise soaked in fuzzy and caustic beauty before drifting back into the mellow embrace of the song.
The Boat That Is Rowing Slow does not match the songs before and after it, though it is a skilfully crafted and presented slice of fuzz draped blues and Oasis like melodic balladry. With a sonic acidity to its climate and expressive elegance to its raw canvas the song does present a strong addition to the EP others will bask in but misses personal tastes here, especially when up against the closing pair of majestic sonic tempting.
First comes Howl, a slow burner of a song which almost yawns itself into existence before guitar and vocals stretch their melodic and harmonic abilities ready for the subsequent expulsion of their fiery psychedelic waltz. There is a sense of The Cult in their early days to the track in many ways, its predominantly instrumental adventure almost meditative and shamanic as it transfixes ears and imagination. It’s delicious presence is followed and matched by Earth Mother, a similarly captivating exploration of warm vocals and infectious radiance within this time an, and there is no other word for it, earthy landscape of unpolished and crystalline sonic hues draped in a melodic colour lit further by scorching sax and blistering guitar drawn flames.
Both tracks are scintillating, the richest creative tempting to bask and immerse in which over time becomes inescapable for thoughts and emotions, much as the whole of Mammoth. They make a ravishing end to a stunning release, one as said that only increases its strength and dramatic alchemy with each and every taking of its creative journey.
The Mammoth EP is available now as a name your price download and @ http://palefires.bandcamp.com/
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