UK rockers Eva Plays Dead have been stirring up plenty of attention and praise loaded support over the past couple of years through a potent live presence and a host of songs and debut album fuelled by with impressing adventure and the potential of even greater things to come. The Sounds of the Written Word EP continues the band’s potent emergence and evolution of sound with five rousing slices of undiluted rock ‘n’ roll. It is an encounter which confirms the Nottingham/Derby bred quartet as ones to watch and to find plenty of flavoursome enjoyment with, but also suggests that they are still only at the beginnings of exploring their creative depths.
Formed in the January of 2013, Eva Plays Dead weave inspirations from the likes of The Dirty Youth, LostAlone, Marmozets, Joan Jett, and QOTSA into their diversely spiced sound. Thick strains of metal, hard and alternative rock, and even punk are entangled and fused together as proven by the band’s new encounter, which relentlessly entices and holds attention. Live the band has frequently drawn acclaim too whilst supporting the likes of We Are The Ocean, LostAlone, Max Raptor, Canterbury, and also across their own country wide tours. The band’s 2013 album Guilt Trips & Sins equally drew its plaudits though it took the single of earlier this year, Wonderland to spark and lure in the increasing focus of the likes of Team Rock and Kerrang. The song was a rich taster of Sounds of the Written Word which itself is already creating a bit of a feisty stir since its release via SoundHub Records.
The EP opens with Live Again and a rich torrent of fiery riffs, pungent rhythms, and a sonic enticing impossible to ignore. In fact the whole song is a wall of persuasion, especially once the rich voice and expressive delivery of Tiggy Dee joins the muscular party. Her tones wrap syllable and ears with tenacious seduction yet carries a raw edge which only adds to the aggressively creative enterprise of sound around her. The guitar of Matt Gascoyne is just as lively in its imagination and craft, its melodies and Dee’s siren-esque roar in turn trapped by the masterful and fiercely magnetic rhythmic cage cast by bassist Zach Shannon and drummer Seb Boyse.
The tracks’ bluesy air and hard rock enticing continues in the more predatory Bad Girl, the song with the sinister persuasive lure of a temptress prowling the listener musically and vocally. It is dark, dirty, and a weave of sonic resourcefulness seeded in classic and alternative rock. As its predecessor, the song is firmly infectious whether roaring with full passion or delving into more concentrated tapestries of thick texture and invasive spicing. It easily continues the strong start to the release, though both songs get outshone by Wonderland. From its first dark rumble, the track is sheer addictiveness, riffs and grooves a flirtatious confrontation over the anthemic twist of rhythms and subsequently stalking beats. Dee again sits astride the magnetic drama at play, her voice attitude fuelled yet with a raw regal air as the equally riveting sounds dance around her with bright invention and raucous energy. It is no surprise that the song stirred up ears and appetites as a single as here it pretty much steals the show, though it is quickly rivalled by the closing pair of songs on the EP.
We Ain’t A Family uncages its own virulent hooks and tangy grooves in short time, rhythms showing more restraint amidst the melody rich proposal though again the bass finds an intimidating snarl to drool over. Like the last track, it shows an eagerness to explore an undulating landscape of ideas and evolving sound, crescendos of energy and skilful ebbing and flowing of intensity and passion alone an enthralling tempting.
Final track 1950’s Woman has a similar template to the previous pair but finds its own individual character within a familiar bellow of rigorous sound and bewitching vocal theatre. The song maybe does not define its distinctiveness as much as others on the EP, but when it leaves ears basking, imagination smiling, and emotions hungry for more, there is little more you can ask of it.
There is definitely the sense that Eva Plays Dead has more in the locker than shown on Sounds of the Written Word which only makes their future something to keenly anticipate. This is a band to keep close attention on with an EP to thoroughly enjoy.
Sounds of the Written Word is available now via SoundHub Records through most online stores