City Of Thieves – Incinerator

CoT_RingMaster Review

We just cannot say no to a rousing slab of rock ‘n’ roll at The RR and that is exactly what UK hard rockers City Of Thieves uncage with their debut EP, Incinerator. It is five tracks of varied, no frills heavy rock which may not carry too many big surprises but potently feeds the instincts to roar and brawl with revelry. After the first minute of its opener you will kind of know and certainly welcome what you are going to get thereon in, but with a formidable freshness and passion to it too, it quickly shows why there is a thick buzz brewing up around the band; Incinerator inciting heavy satisfaction as it sonically lives up to its name.

The London quartet emerged in May of 2015 and as soon as their sounds hit ears and their feet stomped on stage, City Of Thieves began stirring up rich attention. Their live debut was an acclaim awarded introduction at his year’s Camden Rocks Festival, whilst debut single and now EP title track Incinerator, saw the band play listed on the New Rock Show on Planet Rock Radio for 7 weeks. Since then the band has found itself booked for this year’s Hard Rock Hell, Legends Of Rock, and Rockstock Festivals, played Bloodstock, and seen their EP already covered in plaudits.

EP Artwork_RingMaster Review     Recorded with producer Toby Jepson (Little Angels, The Answer, The Virginmarys), mixed by Mike Fraser (Metallica, AC/DC, Slipknot, Aerosmith), and mastering by Simon Francis (Kodaline, Kaiser Chiefs, Primal Scream), the Incinerator EP starts with a bang and never looks back. That first single opens things up, enticing ears and teasing an instant appetite with its initial predatory prowl of riffs, they courted by the swiping beats of drummer Will Richards and the gnarly tones of Jamie Lailey’s bass. Pretty soon things have ‘relaxed’ into a fiery stroll as the guitars of Ben Austwick and Adam Wardle spin a melodic web of grooves and spicy riffs , and Lailey unveils his sandy, slightly grizzled vocal tones. Like an old buddy, a familiarity entwines with the sonic enterprise and stalking rhythms, and like a returning friend it only pleases as it comes further alive with individual prowess and a creative energy which many bands never ascend to, especially within a debut.

The great start continues with Buzzed Up City, a mellower and warmer grab of the senses but one not scrimping on vociferous snarls within its fiery heart as the band embraces a more classic rock tone with eighties hues in its infectious rock ‘n’ roll. It hits the spot with accuracy though is still eclipsed by its predecessor and the following Lay Me To Waste, the best track on the release. From the almost carnivorous tone of the bass, the rebellious nature of drums and riffs, and grooves which flirt like a lithe seductress, the track smoulders and blazes with a virulence and enterprise which swiftly captures the imagination, and of course greedy ears.

Here Comes The Shot is more of the same infection in its individual way. Its bluesy air and rumbling rhythms also immediate persuasion as vocally again Lailey, like the song and indeed EP, brings a ‘this is how it is, take it or leave it’ attitude and the taking is the only reply possible to the rousing anthem.

A live acoustic take of Mr 50/50 brings the release to a fine end, the song a closing reminder of the core craft and qualities of City Of Thieves always lying beneath the full on riotous sound of other tracks whilst providing a last shot of aural liquor complete with boozy harmonica.

The bottom-line here is that there are few BIG surprises with Incinerator but an unbridled dose of fun and rousing rock ‘n’ roll, and who is never up for that?

The Incinerator EP is available now via Townsend Records / Monster Box Music

Pete RingMaster 23/09/2015

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