With each release, UK alternative rock band Scout Killers seems to discover another layer to their songwriting and sound which is as intriguing as it is enticing and new EP Stand Your Ground is no exception. At times dramatically intense and often sonically fiery, the release is another flavoursome proposition from the emerging band. It is again fuelled by the striking potential the band always shows and which may be taking time to be fully realised, but has so far equipped each encounter with a fascinating and highly enjoyable adventure.
Formed in the latter parts of 2009, the Bath and Bristol hailing Scout Killers has consistently grabbed attention and praise since the release of We Cage the Storm EP and especially the greedily devoured single from it, The Waves. Drawing on inspirations from the likes of Rage Against the Machine, Queens of the Stone Age, Pearl Jam, and Red Hot Chili Peppers, the band’s growing sound merges emotion drenched atmospherics with imposing textures and melodic virulence. It provided an enthralling presence to the band’s well-received self-titled debut and its acclaimed lead song No Reason last year. Now the quintet show further potent strides with Stand Your Ground, five tracks of raw and incendiary emotion entwined in a weave of creative and intricate endeavour.
The EP’s title track is first to seduce ears, the song blooming from a moody sonic drone with a gentle but fiery wash of keys and melodic guitar intricacies. It is a smouldering temptation, a slow coaxing of energy which swiftly welcomes the excellent expressive tones of vocalist Scott Cox. Its restrained gait is also the fuse to a building intensity and drama in the song, the guitars of Beau Stevens and Julien Morrez spinning an emotive web around the melancholic basslines of Josh Ellis and firm beats of drummer Chris Phillips. In many ways the song is wrapped in a tempest of emotion, dark shadows through the vocals and pensive invention of the song superbly conflicting with the radiance of keys and reserved yet potent melodies.
It is a powerful and increasingly persuasive start followed by The Rains. Entering on choppy and wiry riffs, the song makes a gripping persuasion which expands into another fevered blaze of sonic and emotional angst coloured with engaging enterprise. It plays like a flame, flickering drama a rich hue to the senses licking intensity and blazing crescendos lining the track. It does lack the additional spark to match its predecessor but leaves ears and thoughts fully contented before making way for the sultry croon of Time and Again. It also is missing something to match up to those before it but with an open elegance to its melodic and emotional exploration, the song is a warm and vibrant caress on the senses.
Honey drifts evocatively around the listener next, the song another gentle serenade but with thick boned rhythms and a provocative taste to its alluring melodies it is soon mesmerising and igniting the imagination. As with the opener, the song is unafraid to erupt with raw and feisty expulsions of energy and causticity which seamlessly emerge from and fall back into gentle and melancholically lit radiance. The track grips from start to finish, boiling up as it heads towards its finale then passing over its theatre of emotion and energy to the closing Cease and Resist. The best track on the EP, it is a turbulent incitement from the first hungry riffs and weighty beat offered, a sonic tenacity matching the aggressive tone and impact of the outstanding track. Loaded with a grunge and raw predation, the storm of attitude and musical voracity with blues oiled fire is a dramatic and uncompromising roar and the EP’s pinnacle.
Scout Killers continue to impress as they grow and though the band has not found the massive triumph their potential suggests is inside, they are undoubtedly heading in the right direction, the evidence all there in Stand Your Ground.
The Stand Your Ground EP is out December 12th @ http://scoutkillers.bigcartel.com/
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