Enamel Animal – Unfaith

Few rock bands have raised the same level of anticipation for their next move than Queens Of The Stone Age with their full-length debut but that kind of reaction is exactly what UK rockers Enamel Animal have poached with their first album Unfaith. It is an enticingly dirty, fuzzy proposition with instinctive adventure in its veins and contagious often grouchy sounds in its arsenal but with a melodic fire which just as easily grabs a natural appetite for imaginative rock ‘n’ roll. Imagine a rawer Soundgarden meeting a mellower hearted Mastodon with the rousing punk like aggression of Reuben riling things up and you have Enamel Animal.

There is so much more to the imaginative proposals on offer than that though, the album’s songs as adept at creating, with varying but always compelling results, more progressive psych rock explorations.  It makes the Liverpool based quartet of Philip Collier, Barry McKeown, Glen Ashworth, and Ryan Mallows an unpredictable proposition which only adds to the fun of Unfaith. Already carrying a potent reputation through shows alongside the likes of FOES, Bad Sign, Rival Bones, and Ritual King, Enamel Animal give it another big nudge with an album getting down to persuasive work straight away with opener Surrender Reverence. Initially coaxing ears with a lone shadowy riff, the track soon flares up with a dazzling sonic wash of guitar, darker rhythms strolling through the midst of the sunspot as grungy and psychedelic hues merge. Soon a fuzzy groove wraps ears and appetite, warm harmonic vocals rising with them, they like the sounds around them taking on grungier tones by the second. It is a tantalising wash of sound, simultaneously earthy and spatial and quite riveting.

War Machine follows with a bigger muscular presence but also its own sultry smog of melodic psych rock intoxication which opens up into calmer passages of harmonic seduction. That Soundgarden like essence is a rich flame across the track but with its dirtier lining and rapacious groove, nineties English band Skyscraper is also reminded of.

Similar textures unite for the melodic pyre that is Horrified; the track growing more inflamed and tempestuous as wiry melodies entwine tenacious rhythms but also ebbing and igniting again like a sonic fire. There is a certain Foo Fighters air to the track while its successor I Love Creationists taps into Nirvana inspirations for its outstanding and bracing punk ‘n’ roll. It is an agitated treat with the boldest mischief and imagination at play yet within Unfaith, ensuring it’s less than two minutes of devilry is unforgettable.

The already budding diversity of the release and Enamel Animal sound continues into the predacious stalking of ears by Death To The Destroyer. Its hungry rumble wears Josh Homme and co essences like a cloak as the song growls in its belly and menacingly flirts with its own unique metal/heavy rock bred tenacity. Together the pair of tracks provides the pinnacle of the album but closely backed up by the likes of Greetings Earthlings with its creative snarl. There is a great irritability about the song in sound and voice, the track facing up to the listener with an enjoyably grubby air and Stone Temple Pilots scented nature enhanced by more of the band’s psych fuelled flames.

Things calm down as The Thousand Years slowly and gracefully entices the senses and imagination with increasingly widening tendrils of fuzzy melody. In time eager sinew loaded rhythms bring their anthemic almost tribalistic lures to the radiant entrance of the song, textures around them becoming more granular as melodies explore exotic realms. It is absorbing stuff growing more captivating with every listen, a trait shared by the album itself and next up Red Is For Danger. To be fair, its heavy blues lined rock ‘n’ roll pretty much hits the spot straight away but just increases its potency over time as grooves wind around ears and song with incendiary temptation.

As the melody woven beauty of Eintracht simmers, bubbles, and ignites with emotive intensity and the following, A Praying Mantis Does Not Pray makes its own persistently evolving journey of boisterously inventive sound, the album just cements its impressive persuasion. Neither quite reaches the heights of those before them but both only grow in strength as new layers or imagination are found  listen by listen to add to the rich enjoyment of the release.

Unfaith ends with its title track, an emotionally charged flight of progressively honed post rock infusing grunge and stoner textures but suggestively elegant with a raw edge intensifying its heart.

Produced by Jon Lawton who also plays across the album, Unfaith is strapped with potential and ripe with craft and real temptation.  It is a full introduction to Enamel Animal suggesting a band with a great future ahead of them if they continue their growth whilst providing a pleasure to be savoured right now.

Unfaith is available now as a name your own price download @ http://enamelanimal.com/album/unfaith

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Pete RingMaster 08/03/2017

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