If Head Turns First, Eyes Follow… is any indication of what has come to pass before it than we have seriously been missing out. The release is the new EP from Finnish punk ‘n rollers Graveyard Shifters and our well overdue introduction to them and their riotous sound.
Since emerging in 2013, the Kerava hailing band has unleashed 2015 debut album High Heels & Broken Bones and three EPs around it with Head Turns First, Eyes Follow… their fourth such incitement. The new encounter is a rowdy and disorderly fusion of punk, hard rock and heavy metal with plenty more in its lawless clamour. It is a mix which has a breath of familiarity but a roar of rebellious individuality that demands attention and commands similarly unruly behaviour from the listener.
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Harri Petjakko, Head Turns First, Eyes Follow… is an insubordinate stomp from the moment opener Fake It Till You Make It shares its first lure of sonic temptation. Its relatively calm start is soon a brawl of sound and vocal incitement, frontman J. Matilainen conducting the clamour as the guitars of H. Kansonen and J. Eskelinen surge. With the equally eager keys of S. Tiittanen, who provides piano across the record, adding another potent infectious aspect, the track consumed the senses, their pleasure only escalated by the rapier swings of drummer A. Salmenoja and J. Sumkin’s rapacious bassline.
The track proved addiction in the making; a rock ‘n’ roll compulsion quickly backed up by the EP’s fiery title track. It too is a holler warranting participation without thought, a slab of bruising rock and punk disobedience soaked in anthemic arousal. Like the other tracks it is also a rumble of creative and imaginative elements which are at times almost hidden or certainly belied by the inherent rush of sound and intensity the band delivers songs with but more than most offers calmer moments and glimpses of that true dexterity.
Whirlpool is next up and revs its motor and energy before launching its own howling disturbance. Though maybe the song did not get us storming the furniture as its predecessors, it had us hollering and greedily feasting on its feral punk rock and inventive web of tempestuous sound and melodic enterprise before Calm Down Before The Storm uncages sonic pandemonium with contagious prowess and energy.
There is a furious chaos to the band’s sound which aligns with their inventive character, a mix no better served and revealed than by that final moment of pleasure provided by Head Turns First, Eyes Follow…, a release which has put Graveyard Shifters on our hungry radar at last and got us scurrying back through the band’s previous rampages.
Head Turns First, Eyes Follow… is out now; available @ https://graveyardshifters.bandcamp.com/
Pete RingMaster 12/08/2021
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