A release to make a lingering impression, Make Out A Picture is the debut EP from British alternative rock band Shot Of Hornets. Consisting of four tracks which snarl and rousingly seduce with equal measure, the encounter is a beast of an introduction to the Welsh trio. There is a predacious edge to every element making up its gripping drama and forceful enterprise just as a virulent contagion fuels the anthemic unpredictability shaping its ear pleasing character. Together it provides a creative and impassioned theatre of sound and imagination as compelling as it is so often breath-taking.
Hailing from Mold in North Wales, Shot Of Hornets consists of brothers Daniel (guitar/vocals) and Conor Cahalane (drums/lead vocals) alongside Charlie Farnham (bass/vocals). Emerging last year with inspirations from the likes of early Biffy Clyro, At The Drive-In, Hundred Reasons, and Fightstar in their creative arsenal, the threesome soon began making potent impressions with their fierce live presence and shows. Now it is Make Out A Picture set to rattle national awareness of Shot Of Hornets, with success surely an inevitable return for the EP’s galvanic might.
The band lays a tight grip on ears and appetite straight way with opener Corrosive, needing little time to tempt both as swinging beats and an instantly grumbling bassline starts things off. Angular strikes of guitar and group snarls behind the inviting tones of Conor swiftly join the affair and increase the infectiousness already sparking the senses. Smooth slips into mellower moments and discord kissed twists leads to a seriously rousing chorus, all the time an intensity and volatility seemingly lying in wait, eager to erupt but instead simply adding great depth to the song and enterprise persuading ears; when it does escape a great Reuben-esque feel flows through the track, ending in a scintillating finale which in tone continues into the song’s successor.
Don’t Go Chasing Shadows, Arthur is exceptional, from its initial lively stalking of the senses and barbarous tempest through to its quirky and deranged character one of the best tracks heard here this year. Vocally and musically the band prowls and leaps upon the imagination with their unique ideation and adventure, keeping things as enthrallingly off-kilter and seriously infectious. At times the song reminds of the now demised UK band Engerica, in other moments courting something lying between System Of A Down and Hundred Reasons, and relentlessly leaving ears and pleasure greedy for more.
The brief instrumental interlude of Firm Handshake provides a tantalising atmospheric hug though truthfully instincts after the first listen is to dive straight into closing track Everything With Nothing. The closer is another track which emerges as one kind of creature and slowly evolves into something different as one inventive minute follows another. The song’s initial abrasive growl is soon replaced by a melodic and emotive reflection though certainly vocally that raw edge still lurks. Subsequently, inescapably catchy lures and fiery flames add to the track’s theatre, spiky rhythms and riffs joining scything grooves and grisly punk infused predation as the song twists and turns and in turn bewitches with every unpredictable moment.
If Make Out A Picture is a sign of things to come, expect to hear plenty more of Shot Of Hornets in sound and acclaim. The EP is a debut which demands attention, rewarding with songs which bring the imagination and spirit through a band with very healthy horizons ahead of them.
The Make Out A Picture EP is released July 1st through all stores.
Pete RingMaster 30/06/2016
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