Returning with their first collection of new songs in around seven years, UK experimental punks The Harry MacIntosh Project unleash the Such is the Vulture’s Love EP to remind the British rock scene what an exciting proposition they are. Berkshire based, the quintet contrary to what the band name might suggest, create a bracing brew of punk and noise rock wrapped in alternative rock tenacity. There is still more to their sound as proven by the new release, but imagine a brew of Richard Hell, At the Drive In, The Jesus Lizard, and Blood Brothers, and maybe add a thick pinch of Pere Ubu and you get a clearer idea.
As said it has been quite a while since the self-release of their Macrophage EP in 2006, though there has been a live album to keep us happy too, but with their recent signing to London-based Zube Records the band is back to incite ears and psyche in fine style once again. The time between releases has also seen a line-up change and a more defined and mature handle on their ever warped ability to stir things up with instinctive, noise fuelled invention. It is all in evidence upon Such is the Vulture’s Love and it is fair to say that it is good to have fresh and raw sounds from the band in the British rock ‘n’ roll landscape again.
It all starts with Error Terror, a warped sonic disturbance of jazzy intent brewing up to the point where the band step forward with sharp hooks, wiry grooves and bustling rhythms. It is an immediate flavoursome tonic of sound, becoming more acidic and tangy with the vocals of Trip Hazzard, his appearance seeming to spark a more citric touch to the guitar enterprise of David Anderson and Thomas Cox. The song continues to prowls the senses as the meaty beats of Paul Hopgood collude with the throaty lines cast by Thom Draven’s bass, but throughout and just as potent is an infectious almost virulent swing to the track. It is a mighty and compelling start to the release and quickly matched by its successor.
…and this Cat has a similar swagger to its body and presence too, guitars spilling catchy grooves whilst rhythms are more boisterous than aggressive. It is a gripping entrance soon leading to greater reactions as the track slips into a melodic calm with evocative resonance and invasive, slightly Parisian charm. The track is outstanding, too short maybe causing a moan when it stops such the enjoyment given, but a tapestry of hues suggested by many of the bands previously mentioned. They are just small hints of colour though to a sound which comparing it to anyone borders on selling it short, certainly from within the second song upon Such is the Vulture’s Love.
(I Spent the Night In A) Washing is a voracious rock ‘n’ roll stomp doing its best to steal top honours on the EP. Rugged on its punk side and bewitching in its sonic endeavour, the track bullies and entices ears simultaneously, rhythms the most volatile protagonist, though the gripping bass part of their invention with its catchiness tempers the ferocity of the drums. With Hazzard spilling more and more expression, and at times animosity with every song, the encounter is another to leave like-minded bands wishing it was them and the listener feeling like they are being serenaded by a pissed off hornet.
The release closes with Mouldy Water, a dark intimidation of a song with a muddy atmosphere and a seemingly antagonistic nature caressing the senses with caustic melodies bullied by tempestuous rhythms. As in the other songs we are only giving glimpses to the emotional and atmospheric turbulence and raw beauty pervading the encounter, every moment in a song a new wash of invention and wonderful agitation hard to replicate in words.
Hopefully it will not be another vast stretch of time before The Harry MacIntosh Project unleashes some more of their impressive new direction of sound. Such is the Vulture’s Love is an excellent and enthralling treat for the now but it also leaves pleasure in the arm of want, a need for more, and even its superb body can solely satisfy that for too long.
Such is the Vulture’s Love is released April 25th via Zube Records on CD, seven-inch coloured vinyl, and as a digital download.
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