UK psyche rockers The Dropper’s Neck has been lurking in our passions ever since their richly promising attention grabbing debut EP early last year. It was a release which suggested this was a band with a dramatic presence pending in the future. Their first album Second Coming now not only confirms this but takes that assumed potent emerging stance into areas maybe not anticipated but greedily welcomed. There have been numerous comparisons placed on the band and their sound too, but though agreeing with most whilst listening to the new release the only description applicable is that The Dropper’s Neck is the mutant hybrid of Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster and Engerica. There are numerous other spices rife within the concoction brewed for sure but there is no escaping this pair at any point on the release. It is the only thing stopping the release sealing full marks for itself, the possibly too close for comfort likeness to that pair of references but such an exciting and innovatively brought familiarity it is, quite simply Second Coming is one of the real triumphs of the year.
Hailing from Essex and formed in 2011, the quintet of vocalist Lloyd Mathews, guitarists Chris Blake and George Barrows, bassist Jack Turner, and drummer Danny Keene, soon snarled at and ignited the local scene and began building a vigorously loyal fanbase through their unforgettable and predatory live performances. The previously mentioned EP announced them as an emerging danger and temptation to the wider country but Second Coming is the consumption which will devour all hearts and devotion given the opportunity. A stirring mix of garage punk, alternative rock, and dark carnal sounds, their sound crawls over and infests the senses like a virulent scourge but one which awakens all the forgotten wantonness and hunger of rock ‘n’ roll.
Recorded with esteemed producer Paul Tipler (Placebo, Idlewild & Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster), Second Coming begins its rapacious touch within the opening seconds of the title track, the first song on the album taunting with raw scuzz lined riffs before equally teasing rhythms add their touch. Into its stride the track is a scorching rampage through the ear, one which scrubs and boils every inch of internal flesh with its sonic fire and temptress groove. The vocals of Mathews bring a great mix of delivery, all drenched in an expression and passion which comes over like the call of a part desperate and part belligerent provocateur. It is a very Guy McKnight like sound he has with more than a nod to David Gardner of Engerica it has to be said, though pure coincidence you would guess, but one which only leads the songs into further delicious misdemeanours.
From the strong start things just accelerate into rapture with the first single from the album, Darker Waters. The guitars exchange their distinct swiping tones at first before the cantankerous bass of Turner joins in with a dark hearted prowl and the beats of Keene snap and barge the ear with contempt. With all uniting their league of menace together, the song adds insatiable grooves and barbed hooks to corrupt and capture the imagination whilst Mathews again is the ringleader with his almost carnival barker like lure. It is a brilliant song which pokes and incites limbs, thoughts, and passions to climb on board the shadow crafted ride, to immerse in its sinister and delicious pervading toxicity.
The follow pair of Abrasive and Three Little Pigs refuses to let the rich temptation waiver either, the first track a brawling punk tempest of squalling sounds and guitar bred melodic heat caged in another mesmeric rhythmic web. As dark and foreboding as it is ungraciously addictive, the track sears the senses into eager capitulation ready for its successor and another major pinnacle on the album. With a spine tingling groove made of pure magnetism and a psychobilly tone across the niggling gait, the song is a lethal enticement which secures eternal submission to its glory.
The following I Am The Law, is like a homage to Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, the band getting as close as they dare to one of UK’s debatably underpraised former giants, the vocal groupings and dark crooning as well as the repetitiously tempting groove and torrential rhythmic demanding aural handcuffs for the heart. Its majesty is replicated by the psychotic Sir Sibilance in another chaotic blaze of invention and psych engineered imagination. With more twists and deceit than a geriatric pole dancer, the devilish maelstrom is an exhausting and scintillating masterpiece.
When the two weakest tracks on the album which turn up next, Second Coming Pt. 2 and My Lime Tree are best described as riveting incitements of tyrannical and hypnotic rhythms amongst washes of caustic noise and heavy shadows of lyrical and musical irreverence honed into bruising bone shaking mentally charring slices of creative ferocity, you understand how impressive and unmissable this album is. As the closing intensive darkly sculpted passionate furnace Save Me From Myself with its ominous breath and scarring touch providing a final doomy wrap of powerful drama, escape from the clawed clutch of band, album, and lingering sounds is impossible and primal hunger for more incorruptible.
Second Coming is magnificent and The Dropper’s Neck carrying on the charnel seeded legacy of The Cramps in their own almost wholly unique way. Brilliant stuff!
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