As much as instant slavery of ears goes down a treat with us offerings which take their time to blossom and accelerate their temptation are just as enjoyable. Think Or Be, the new EP from British trio Tailblock manages to be as good as both. It is a six track roar which easily grabbed the appetite from its first attack but only grew and flourished with greater and in turn keener attention play by play. High praise took to its predecessor couple years back and it is unlikely it will be a stranger this time around either.
Hailing from Dartford in Kent and emerging in 2016, Tailblock released debut EP, Burn Your Bridges, at the close of that first year. It was produced by Ian Sadler (Anavae, Roam), who returns to add his touch to Think Or Be, and as said earned numerous plaudits. Inspirations to the band include the likes of Glassjaw, Hundred Reasons, Rival Schools, and Reuben and it is the latter which most comes to mind in varying shades across the new EP. Even so, the threesome of Jak Coleman (bass guitar/backing vocals), Martyn Kingsmill (drums/percussion/backing harmonies), and Gary Ptaszek (guitar/lead vocals) hold their own individuality in a release which sees their post hardcore nurtured sound much more assured, diverse, and adventurous than in that first encounter.
The EP opens up with its title track and an immediately insistent tide of riffs and rhythms from which a delicious hook springs to quickly be joined by the strong tones of Ptaszek. In no time it is a rousing roar, even in its calmer moments a spirit sparking incitement from within which that infernal hook has ears and lust dangling.
It is a seriously infectious and muscular start to the release firmly backed up by Heavy Arms. The band’s latest single it too teases and tempts with a hook which just gets under the skin, this time the band using it from the first second to nag and tempt. There is a more controlled gait to the song and a swing which had the body moving in unison, Jamie Lenman and co an easy comparison to its opening infection. There is also an underlying volatility which does not quite ignite but definitely adds a great feral quality around the pure catchiness of the song. A mix of pop, punk, and alternative rock, the track is thick contagion with the backing vocals of Coleman and Kingsmill as potent as Ptaszek’s lead and all three’s musical prowess.
Rocket follows quickly establishing its heavier presence as the wires of the guitar and throbbing lines of the bass surround the thumping beats of Kingsmill. It too has a catchiness which cannot fail to incite feet but did miss the particular spark of its predecessor for our ears. Its emotive edge though is a strong hue, an increasingly persuasive one which leaves nothing on the table within the ferocious Blisters. A fiery attitude soaked offering as inescapably catchy as it is imposingly aggressive it soon steals favourite track honours especially with its melodically seductive climax.
The EP concludes with firstly Listen, a song rising from a rockabilly-esque temptation to another emotionally charged yet controlled saunter. Even so its melancholic elegance erupts in moments of sonic fire with its mercurial landscape a ride of heart bred turbulence and tenacious enterprise. Its successor, 100, similarly has a great unpredictable air and touch to its character, acoustic coaxing and vocal reflection leading to melodic infection and spirited release in emotion and sound.
It is a fine end to a proposition which grows and further impresses by the listen. From the start we rather liked it, now it is one we fiercely recommend. There can never be another Reuben, one of our all-time loves at The RR, but in their own distinct way that gap just might be filled by Tailblock; Think Or Be suggests so.
Think Or Be is released July 13th digitally and on CD.
Pete RingMaster 05/07/2018
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