Almost a year after the success of their senses enveloping single, Feel / Broken Hearts, British psych/alternative rock trio Two Skies have released an arguably even more immersive and certainly enthralling encounter in the shape of second EP, When the Storm Hits. Containing four tracks of varied yet mutually dramatic proposals, the release is a fascinating confirmation and further evidence of the band’s creative imagination and persuasive craft.
Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Dan Cutts, bassist Jamie Cheetham, and drummer Oliver Harrap, the Sheffield hailing Two Skies has lured attention and praise through a host of singles since emerging with their first track in 2011. Fair to say though, the Red EP of 2014 sparked greater intrigue, being backed and its sound pushed on again through a couple more singles including the previously mentioned Feel. It explored a new creative breath to the band’s already absorbing sound, a landscape of invention and emotion as haunting as it was sonically mesmeric. When the Storm Hits follows in the same vein but takes the attributes of its predecessor to new imaginative and impacting heights.
Live the band has become a seriously renowned proposal for their fiery sound and dynamics too, with shows alongside the likes of Toy, Wooden Shjips, Ultrasound, Howling Bells, Six by Seven, Joy Formidable, and Johnny Marr under their belts. They are raw essences which equal attract and transfix within When the Storm Hits, starting with its title track. Straight away a brooding bassline strolls within an atmospheric synth laid caress veined by the melancholy of wispy strains of guitar, that emotion matched in the expression of Cutts’ swiftly impressing vocals too. Like a slightly portentous mist, the song expands and rolls in over the senses, bursts of intensity in its climate shared by cacophonous guitar enterprise and an intrusive sonic shimmer. It is a magnetic affair as inciting for the imagination as it is for ears and emotions.
The great start is soon surpassed by the outstanding Drone Attack NP 19. Straight away there is an air of energy to it which in a handful of seconds more is powering the swinging stride of the song led by another throbbing and infectious bassline. Harrap’s beats match the virulent gait of Cheetham’s bass as around them guitars cast a web of melodic tendrils amidst a nagging but welcoming sonic wash. There is also a slightly nostalgic feel to the song; eighties band Modern English especially coming to mind in certain moments, though there is no mistaking that the song, as the EP, is inescapably distinct to Two Skies as it tenacious saunters along roaring in voice and sound.
The similarly tantalising Arrows comes next, offering a less urgent senses badgering presence but with an equally contagious catchiness to its body and tone. Cutts again captivates in voice as potently as the sounds surrounding his expressive and emotive delivery; keys and guitars weaving another tapestry of atmospheric rapture and melodic reflection through gentle sways and rousing crescendos.
Hypnotist brings the EP to a fine close with a cloud of mesmeric sound surrounding the song’s slightly tempestuous character. It is a charming proposal with a fiery edge and heart; a track as seductive as it is imposing with the great almost drone like persistence which lines much of the band’s encounters as riveting and tempting as ever.
The When the Storm Hits EP is undoubtedly the finest hour, or sixteen odd minutes, of Two Skies; a band simply becoming more individual and compelling with every release.
The When the Storm Hits EP is out now via Sister 9 Recordings @ https://twoskies.bandcamp.com/album/when-the-storm-hits
Pete RingMaster 11/05/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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