Since emerging around the time 2015 turned into its successor, UK outfit Kovax has been busy creating and earning a potent reputation for their alternative rock nurtured sound. Now they release If There Was Ever Any Doubt, a debut EP which suggests busy will become hectic as the Leeds hailing quartet awakens the ears of national attention and more.
Musically, the band sits creatively between the likes of Japanese Fighting Fish, Black Peaks, Refused, and Reuben and as for so many, they caught our ears with the release of their two track debut single Godot soon after coming to light. It was an offering drenched in potential now boldly realised within their first EP; an ear pleasing enterprise which If There Was Ever Any Doubt pushes to new imagination. Since that first encounter, Kovax has released its successor in Monkeys to a similarly potent welcome and shared stages with the likes of Youth Man, I Cried Wolf, and Nova Hands across the UK. Last December, Pete Freeth, Joe Phillips, Isaac Turner, and Dan Hey entered the studio to record If There Was Ever Any Doubt, its release in May surrounded by the band’s ever busy live exploit.
Breathe starts things off, the song instantly dousing ears in a tide of melody infused riffs as Freeth’s distinctive voice provides an expressive growl to already appetising proceedings. Dropping into mellower moments with keen hooks the track continues to grab attention, the calm leading to rousing crescendos which seem to become more inflamed with every outburst. With rhythms commanding and backing vocals eager, there is little escape from the song’s temptation, its more tempestuous air adding greater bait to devour before Atlas strolls through calmer waters. It is a restrained climate though still holding a volatile air in its surroundings, shadows which at times ignite with punkish tenacity and energy around equally controlled vocals and melodic persuasion.
It is a strong back-up to the impressive start to If There Was Ever Any Doubt but both tracks are eclipsed by the final pair with Waves first up. From its great nagging lure of riffs to its imposing rhythms and striking vocal dexterity, the irresistible encounter has ears and imagination enslaved. There is mischief in its voice and hooks, devilment in its boisterous interplay of textures with even the more controlled moments having their own strain of punk fuelled enterprise; a mix which simply leaves a greed for more.
Final track Kennel is not slow in satisfying the hunger, its voracious collusion of angular hooks and spiky riffs aligning with grumbling rhythms and a theatre of voice amidst calmer suggestion. It all makes for an almost schizophrenic tapestry of sound and enterprise driven by a similarly volatile energy and invention. As its predecessor, the track rigorously impresses. The two tracks are easily the finest proposals from Kovax to date backed by another pair which do not lag behind on infectious invention and creative zeal either.
Their first two singles suggested big things could be on the horizon from Kovax, their debut EP confirms it but with the promise of even broader success ahead of them if they continue in the inventive and compelling vein of If There Was Ever Any Doubt.
If There Was Ever Any Doubt is out now on iTunes @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/if-there-was-ever-any-doubt-ep/id1219359665 and other online stores.
Pete RingMaster 09/05/2017
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