A rich reputation and a broad recognition of existence do not always go hand in hand and so it is with UK rockers The Self Titled. They are no strangers to thick and eager acclaim and have grown to be one of British music’s most rousing propositions yet still so many prospective fans have yet to discover their prolific presence. The band has just unleashed a new EP but can it address that absence of wide spread attention? Of course time will tell but if anything can be the spark, the mighty Bears and Bulls EP has all the right ammunition and striking qualities to be the trigger.
It was from the moment that the band reformed back in 2010 that they stamped a certain mark on the UK music scene with their rapacious blend of rock and metal and a work ethic which has seen them literally play shows non-stop, sharing stages with the likes of Kobra And The Lotus, Breed 77, Forever Never, Zico Chain and Sarah jezebel Deva, One Machine, Def Con One and many more along the way. It was their impressive debut album, Defaced, in 2012 that we came across the Kent outfit, a release establishing the band as one of the most exciting emerging encounters around. The double track Airlock EP two years later only confirmed the potential and potency of the band which Bears and Bulls EP now exploits to even greater heights, impressiveness, and we suspect success.
Bears and Bulls opens up with Disintegration and straight away guitars are harrying the senses with anthemic energy as rhythms prowl ears and the potent tones of vocalist Tom Procter. The swinging beats of drummer Paul Brander orchestrate the predatory tone of the song with the growl of Steve Burwell’s bass keenly adding to that trespass yet everything about the track is pure contagion, guitarist Philipp Hall weaving a web of hooks and riffs as antagonistic as they are rapaciously catchy.
It is a powerful and potent start to the release swiftly built upon by the following Breathe. Groove carrying riffs provide the first tasty lure, the rumble of bass adding it’s particular growl before uncaging its own body infesting groove. The band pull the heaviest most voracious essences of metal and heavy rock for their inimitable sound with the EP’s second track grabbing a healthy punk snarl to its nu and alternative flavoured confrontation. There is an open Rage Against The Machine edge to the track but imaginatively bound to the band’s melodic prowess in a song which relishes plenty of other metal and rock spawned flavours.
Fear and Loathing is next up, echoing the diversity of sound in its impressive predecessor within its own individual endeavour. Almost crawling over the senses, the track slowly unwinds its quickly addictive bait and enterprise, grooves predatory as they seduce with a matching snarl to that lining Proctor’s and the band’s vocals. A grunge essence only adds to the infectiousness and richness of the song before the EP’s title track brings to a similarly rousing conclusion.
The final song saunters in on a rhythmic shuffle before unleashing more of the band’s rap/nu metal prowess and hard rock dexterity aligned to melody fuelled contagion. Bluesy flumes only add to the intoxication but as ever in a song bursting from The Self Titled, agitation and aggression at world issues provoke as they arouse.
It is about time the world woke up to The Self Titled roar, Bears and Bulls might give them no choice.
The Bears and Bulls EP is available now @ https://music.apple.com/us/album/bears-and-bulls-ep/1462839970
Pete RingMaster 20/12/2019
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