If there is one thing predictable about UK rockers The Senton Bombs, it is that they will persistently offer feisty dirt encrusted, punk fuelled rock ‘n’ roll. You can always assume a fresh fiery breath driving each and every offering unleashed by the Blackpool hailing quartet too. It has so far been that way since the band’s first album, Sweet Chin Music of 2009, and it continues with new EP Phantom High. Consisting of five diverse songs all bred from punk ‘n’ roll aggression and carrying a hard rock swagger, the encounter is quite simply an attitude loaded stomp of raw and feverishly flavoursome rock ‘n’ roll.
Formed in 2004, The Senton Bombs has been a regular draw of praise and increasing attention thanks to their passion driven live performances and trio of albums, of which Chapter Zero in 2013, brought the thickest wave of acclaim yet. You know what you are going to get with the band; sounds and songs which devour the energy out of the body and feed the instinctive rocker in us all, but equally each of their releases to date has pushed the band’s music and invention in bold strides and ahead of the band’s fourth album later this year, Phantom High is exactly the same. It suggests a new strength of diversity emerging in their songwriting but similarly an even more potent roar and snarl of the rock incitement which sets them apart from most.
The EP opens with its title track, and from the initial sonic scythe of sound, swiftly has ears, feet, and emotions engaged in its adrenaline soaked charge. Vocalist Joey Class uncages his recognisable and alluring tones almost as soon as riffs rub invitingly on ears and rhythms jab with eager intent. Guitarists Damien Kage and Johnny Gibbons proceed to weave a bait of aggressive riffery and spicy enterprise as the track continues its contagious stomp, a solo especially tangy on the ear, whilst drummer Scott Mason and the bass lines of Class sculpt a frame to it all which is anthemic as the roar of the song itself.
The track is an irresistible persuasion and straight away matched by the similarly outstanding Lights Over Phoenix. Whereas the first song was a riot of dirty hard rock and aggressive punk tenacity, the first single from the EP is a more pop punk seeded infection. Small but potently coaxing riffs are aligned to the equally mellower delivery of Class’ sandy tones, a tempting entrance which instantly has ears keen and toes tapping. Bass and beats need little prompting to add their punchy contributions soon after whilst the guitars flame and entice with gripping eagerness and temptation. A more restrained but no less addictive romp to the first, the track strides with unbridled infectiousness and tantalising enterprise creating an encounter sounding vaguely like a mix of Turbonegro and Hagfish, but ultimately all Senton Bombs.
Black Chariot slows the energies down if not the enthusiasm for the release next. It is a blues rock spawned prowl, employing more classic and southern rock flavouring than anything they have bred before. The vocals are impressive, cleaner and clearer than those usually offered by Class and just as compelling, and easy to hope they are used more ahead, but in tandem with the dirtier delivery.
The excellent croon of a song allows a breath to be taken by the listener too, enabling a restocking of energy before Passions of the Passive Aggressive unveils its own blues rock inspired bellow of aggressive and chest thumping, belligerent rock ‘n’ roll. Actually the song does not really explode at any point but through its taunting stalking of ears and urgent eruptions of intensity and scorching voracity, it again has limbs, neck muscles, and emotions inflamed.
Phantom High is finished off by the excellent Surf 6-66, again hard and classic rock thrust into incendiary punk ferocity. Think The Ramones embroiled with Mötley Crüe and you get an inkling of the lingering devilry bringing it all to a mighty close. The excellent song epitomises the EP as a whole, The Senton Bombs sound we have come to eagerly devour navigating new variety and insatiably captivating waters.
Phantom High is not a stop gap release before the band’s new album but a massive teaser of bigger and bolder things to come from the band giving further evidence that The Senton Bombs are one of those shaping a new heyday for British rock ‘n roll.
Phantom High is available from March 23rd via Holier Than Thou Records
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