Thanks to Dirty Water Records, we can now reveal the Devil’s rock ‘n’ roll representatives in the UK; a band going under the name of Harry Violet and the Sharks with the sole intent of putting a hex on hips and mischief in the heart. Evidence comes courtesy of debut single Jungle Cavalcade, a two-track incitement of dark fifties/sixties bred rock ‘n’ roll from a band “crawling the streets of London, intent on mixing dive-bar jive and 12-bar rhythms with nightmarish grooves”.
Inflamed by the raw siren calls of sax and driven by devilish rhythms, Harry Violet and the Sharks has a sound infusing many more spices and tenacious revelry than can be described in a single line. They draw on inspirations roaming from The Cramps, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and The Lounge Lizards to The Sonics, Kip Tyler, and Link Wray with further essences influenced by “the eccentricities of Joe Meek productions” and artists like Tom Waits. What emerges on their introduction is something familiar yet boldly unique, a lingering dalliance with the senses and a salacious flirtation with body and imagination.
Jungle Cavalcade stirs up the passions first as it drives straight away at ears with tantalising riffs of guitar and bass in collusion with sultry strains of sax. The seductive yet rapacious tone of the four-stringed devilment is especially masterful in its temptation, bassist Tim Barrow pulling on his strings with a creative animation that has thoughts donning mask and cape as fingers tap feverishly to its and the aligning rhythmic bait of Murdo Mackenzie’s beats. All the while the sax of Max Ellenberger is casting aurally erotic flames to this, inciting ears with his fiery melodies which suggestively flicker as the similarly exotic lures of Harry Violet’s guitar dance. Vocally Harry slips between a grizzled Tom Waits meets Hasil Adkins growl and an inviting roar of clean tones, a delivery as unpredictable and magnetic as the sounds around him. Like Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers plays Johnny And The Hurricanes with The Slytones for company, band and track leave a big grin on the face and an exhausted smile on the body.
As its predecessor, second song Dance At The Korova is also inspired “by the wild and wacky adventures of Frank Buck and the dystopian youth madness of A Clockwork Orange”, and as the first track in control of attention and appetite from its first sax and guitar spun breath. Bouncing around with an open fifties romp and stomp as another great scramble of rhythms line-up with a very agreeable cartoonish hook linked to the guitar’s persistent almost nagging melody, the song is the manna for any hop and the spark to many an energetic intimacy.
Some songs just hit the spot and ignite all the wants and irreverent devilment needed to have a seriously good time. Jungle Cavalcade has two such protagonists delivered by a band you feel has only just started twisting our bodies and turning on unbridled instincts.
Jungle Cavalcade is out now on 7” vinyl and for download via Dirty Water Records.
http://harryvioletandthesharks.co.uk/ https://www.facebook.com/harryvioletsharks https://twitter.com/harryviolets
Pete RingMaster 04/02/2016
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