Creating a great blend of familiarity and predominantly fresh invention distinct to the band, UK alternative rockers Hercules Morse re-unleash their debut EP, Edge Of Life, a repackaged version of their 2014 three track encounter offering a trio of additional new tracks to get enthusiastically greedy over. The band has been compared to bands like the Foo Fighters and Queens Of The Stone Age, understandably so at times, but as Edge Of Life reveals, there is much more in adventurous sound and texture to the band rousing rock ‘n’ roll.
Rising from the demise of their previous guise, The Blue Screen Of Death, the Southampton hailing Hercules Morse emerged in 2014, quickly uncaging the original version of the Edge Of Life EP to potent reactions. In their earlier incarnation, the band had shared stages with bands such as Turbowolf, Band of Skulls, Brant Bjork, Zico Chain, Orange Goblin, and Dinosaur Pile Up; a success and live hunger just as rampant with Hercules Morse as the south of England can testify since the band stepped forward. Now national attention is getting a firm and impressive nudge with the bulkier invigorating return of Edge Of Life.
That creative poke begins with The Education, an incitement throwing thick riffs, biting rhythms, and spicy grooves at ears from its first breath. The equally potent vocal prowess of rhythm guitarist Steve George quickly joins the virulent tempting, his lead tones well supported by those of lead guitarist Harry Gardner. Already those earlier mentioned comparison make a tasty hue to the encounter but spices in a fiery and tenacious romp finding its own identity with every swinging rhythms and sonic hook.
The great start is continued and eclipsed by the EP’s excellent title track, it too straight to the point with anthemic beats from drummer Guillaume Redonnet-Brown eagerly rolling in as the guitars cast a web of melodic enterprise around the again highly alluring vocals. There is a mellower air to the track even with its robust rhythmic boisterousness and the great carnivorous tone of Paul Shott’s bass, and a flavouring drawing on the melody rich essences of classic and alternative rock over past decades. For personal tastes it does ultimately lack the bite of its predecessor but more than makes up for it with a contagion of flowing melodies and harmonies tempered by an underlying tempestuousness.
Good Old Days steps up next, uncaging a bluesy groove from its first touch and an increasingly magnetic web of hooks and juicy sonic craft thereon in. Bouncing around with sinews as blatantly bold and insatiable as the melodic catchiness skilfully nurtured, the track offers a thrilling and inescapable Super Happy Fun Club meets Feud meets Squeeze proposal that has body and emotions on board within its first half minute.
That Difford and Tilbrook like essence is an on-going spicing, lighting up the previous pair of songs and again All About Me, if in a subtler way as a more Josh Homme inspired hug of sound wraps ears from within the wiry sonic and punchy rhythmic resourcefulness of the song. More reserved but no less potent in its persuasion and lingering seduction of the imagination and appetite, the song entangles its gentler incitement with fiery blues seeded guitar whilst its grunge heart simply becomes more vocal and engagingly volatile over time.
The EP comes to a close through firstly the pulsating and lively rock ‘n’ roll canter of Nowhere Left To Go and lastly the weighty energy and eventful landscape of How Do You Love Me. They are both songs which spring no major surprises in originality but defy solid comparisons to others as they sculpt more enjoyment to acclaim Hercules Morse for. The second of the two especially grips ears with its inventive twists and surging infectiousness, ensuring the EP ends on a high.
Edge of Life is one of those yet to be discovered friends that instinctively offers new fun crafted from somewhat recognisable exploits. It also reveals a brew of individuality though which comes with the potential of greater uniqueness ahead; reason enough to get involved with the band right now.
The Edge Of Life EP is available through all stores from 4th December and https://herculesmorseuk.bandcamp.com/
Pete RingMaster 04/12/215
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