Having been seduced by the decidedly warped drama and infectiousness of their recent single Attack Of The Strangler Figs, there was no option than to next look at the EP of the same name . The result of talent and imagination in collision with creative mischief, the offering is the thrilling work of UK art rockers The Strangler Figs. It contains three songs which seduce ears and thoughts alike, a trio of carnivalesque adventures creating the kind of warm devilry which would suit a Tim Burton soundtrack.
The folkish theatre, almost circus like character to the band’s music has its seeds in the psychedelic rock and visual feast of Circus Maure, which band founders, vocalist/guitarist Joe Pickering and double bassist Joel Hanson were previously a part of, touring the likes of Europe, Israel, and Canada, where it headlined the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal for seven nights in a row. Their time there also saw the pair writing together, before leaving and uniting to form Leicester based The Strangler Figs. Weaving in inspirations from the likes of The Doors, Radiohead, Muse, and David Bowie into their evolving invention, the band swiftly lit up the local live scene, their first year together marked by headlining Oxjam and playing the biggest festivals in Leicester. EP and single has helped begin the spread of their presence and reputation much further afield, awakening media and fan attention on a broader scale and as the EP opener alone plays with ears and thoughts, it is easy to see why.
The title track opens up the festivities, a lone reflective guitar around the individual voice of Pickering the first intriguing act of the song. They are immediately joined by a warm caress of keys cast by Freddie Pickering and slow evocative beats from James Lyons. With most of its elements in place and the narrative bringing theatrical colour, the song lifts up its knees and starts a lively stroll through ears and across the imagination. A little jazzy, a little funky, and a lot seductive, especially with the backing vocal lures of Rosie May Price adding to the inviting hues, the song unveils an agitated adventure of sound and ideation. Thoughts of The Jazz Butcher whisper loudly from this point on, and indeed The Strangler Figs sound definitely has a potent elements of the eighties artist to its playful resourcefulness. The song is in full contagious mode in no time, inciting feet and voice to join its devilish merriment.
The great start continues with Help me Please, the song also starting with a gentle kiss on the senses but reaching a more vivacious gait within a few more seconds. The tempting of organ and guitar, both provided by both Pickering brothers, unite in a simmering aural tale of drama and shadow wrapped emotions, this matched by his voice and the dark feel of the narrative. With mini crescendos which just grip the body, the song ebbs and flows in energy whilst stirring up the passions with its unpredictable darkly hued majesty; though do not mistake the song for anything other than a vibrant stroll of folk pop revelry. Think Tankus The Henge meets Mojo Fury and you get an idea of its excellence in sound and enterprise.
The EP closes with Hugga Wugga, an immediate seduction of noir lit textures and theatre led by the excellent throaty lures of Hanson’s double bass. Keys and beats soon align for an exotic shuffle whilst guitar and voice bring a snarl to the party, tempered by the siren-esque backing vocal smooches of Rosie May Price. Once more as the song flirts and swerves around within its jazzy landscape, an eighties essence licks ears. Whereas The Jazz Butcher raised its hints before, and does a little here also, Zanti Misfitz springs up in thoughts as the track ignites the imagination. Just light whispers but enough to give a nudge of the lesser known band.
The song is glorious, as is the EP. There is no wondering why the band has caught the attention and eagerness around their home city, just of how far the band can spread their charm and how soon. A long way and swiftly is our suggestion sparked by Attack Of The Strangler Figs alone.
The Attack Of The Strangler Figs EP and single is available now at most online stores.
Upcoming live shows…
Orange Tree, Leicester – April 30th
O2 Academy, Birmingham – May 1st
Riverside Festival – Leicester – June 6th
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