Having found ourselves taken with sound and invention of UK trio Medusa with their 2011 released second album, Can’t Fucking Win, it quickly became apparent that there was nothing predictable about the band’s music but as confirmed by its successor Headcase’s Handbook three years later it has persistently proved a thickly compelling affair. Both albums were rich in the band’s punk fired rock sound and bold in their intrigue loaded magnetism, traits again just as fertile within the band’s new album, In Bed with Medusa.
The new release though is a whole new beast to be tempted by, one which still bears the inimitable breath and touch of the London based outfit but as its title suggests has an unwrapped intimacy which challenges as much as it fascinates. It is a far darker and rawer involvement with Medusa, one which startled from the off and has persistently caught us off guard with its almost feral emotions and untamed enterprise but fair to say with every listen has left us thickly hooked.
Emerging in 2006, Medusa is the creation of vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Julian Molinero, the band’s line-up on the new release completed by bassist Kotaro Suzuki and Towers of London drummer Snell, the latter recruited barely eight weeks before recording which took place with Steve Albini at his studio, Electrical Audio, in Chicago across the first four days of December 2019. You can only imagine this intense recording time has added to the raw energy and heart of a release though equally such its resourceful drama and touch you can only feel it was always meant and going to be such a soul bearing proposition.
Oblivion opens up the album, a song which instantly unravels an instinctive infectiousness in voice and sound even before hitting its more aggressive and energetic punk ‘n’ roll stride. Molinero’s tones are as bare breathed and provocative as the melodic wiring escaping his guitar between punk bred chords, rhythms a potent anthemic incitement beneath it all.
*love not included seamlessly springs up from the closing straits of its predecessor, the track another with a persistent, indeed voracious catchiness to its punk ‘n’ roll incitement. Hooks and sonic wiring lured and gripped ears as boldly as rhythms and vocals, the track provoking and inviting keen involvement in its naked heart and touch before River Phoenix, inspired by a biography on the actor, lays a calm hand on ears before erupting in a tempestuous rock ‘n’ roll squall again embroiled in emotional turbulence.
There is an open richness to Medusa sound which is entangled in a host of rock flavours, alternative and hard rock textures among them involved within the melodically woven, deviously contagious reflection of The Girlfriend Experience while Lost in Dystopia shares more classic hues in its virulent canter; a grunge lining to both tracks as well as others within the album accentuating the wonderfully unvarnished feel of its presence and heart. Indeed Ride the Styx bears Nirvana-esque shading to its greedy nagging of the senses, the first of our favourite moment considerations within the album swiftly set.
The pair of No Such Thing and Inverse Paradise offer up quick challenges to that choice though, the first with something of an Everclear air around a classic metal wired holler another pinnacle of the release with the second eclipsing both through its almost XTC like setting bound in blues nurtured wiring as Molinero muses proving irresistible. The latter is also one of a pair of acoustic tracks which were recorded in a hotel room overlooking Bran Castle, known as Dracula’s Castle, in Transylvania.
Lenore provides a fiery enticement for ears, maybe one which lacks the sparks of its predecessors for us but still held eager attention before that final slice of acoustic enterprise in the shape of Distress Signal brought In Bed with Medusa to a fine close. Whether bred on intimate experiences of its creator or through observation, it is a potent engagement with ears and thoughts alike; one epitomising the stripped and exposed fertility of the album.
A release which grew in presence and enjoyment by the listen, In Bed with Medusa simply backs up its predecessors in suggesting Medusa is one of Britain’s brightest and unique propositions and with its own openly individual endeavour a band all should at least consider checking out.
In Bed with Medusa is out now and available @ https://medusaworld.bandcamp.com/
Pete RingMaster 26/03/2020
Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright