Providing another of the year’s more tantalising offerings is UK outfit Muskets, a band which is no stranger to keen attention but on the edge of greater recognition one suggests thanks to their latest offering. Violent Paradise is a captivating collection of songs fuelled by the alternative rock/grunge sound which has made the band’s previous releases very welcome but an EP venturing into richer and varied pastures as maturity, shadows, and a broader palette of flavours flourish within a bold landscape of sound and imagination.
The Brighton hailing band has persistently nudged success and full attention since the release of their debut album Chew in 2017 via No Sleep Records who now also bring us the new outing. Numerous tracks have received extensive radio support along the way but it is not too hard to feel that Violent Paradise could and should spark even bigger reactions and success the way of the quartet of Alex Cheung, Joe Phillips, Harry Steel, and Corey Eyres.
The EP opens with the swiftly irresistible Uncertain Purpose, a track which teased and hooked ears and appetite from its slightly manic opening alone. Quickly it hit its infectious swing, guitars and rhythms a feral incitement within and the dissonance of all glorious elements mischievous. The vocals of Cheung add to the devilment of the track’s contagious trespass as hooks and grooves collude in creative delinquency. It proves a rousing slice of grunge punk with a great Asylums-esque character placing a quick and firm grip on best track honours though its briefness does prove a frustration if one soon defused by the tracks to follow.
Detention is next up, the song also sharing instant teasing quickly joined by similarly tempting melodic guitar bait before it all erupts in a lusty clamour from within which those early lures still eagerly entice. Slipping into its relaxed stroll only brings greater catchiness as pop rock instincts breed more vital hooks and grooves. It is a delicious blend of enterprise and melodic imagination which as the first is only more keenly devoured by the listen.
It was hard not to be fully engaged in the slim but potent invitation bringing Empty on Cigarettes into view next; the surf lined swelter of guitar a calm but again thick enticement from which just as sultry harmonies and melodies hug the senses. The song’s seduction is total and its darker hues intriguing and with XTC like whispers to its breath and imagination makes for another lofty highlight of the release before the EP’s title track uncages its raucous holler. Grunge pop infused rock ‘n’ roll, the track swings and stomps with inescapable tenacity, every infectious element a virulent excuse for body and vocal chords to join its boisterous romp.
The album is completed by Killjoy and Natural Selection, the pair among the most adventurous and compelling moments within the release. The first song brews a post punk climate through sonic lures and a moody bassline, drums adding to the Gang Of Four/Killing Joke hued opening. Soon the serenade of the track’s heart is smooching with the senses as again melodies and harmonies flourish in the brooding calm that follows. It is a volatile climate though which sees flames of guitar and emotive roars brewing and erupting, their senses scorching persuasion just as rousing and magnetic before the cycle thrillingly repeats.
The final track is an acoustic hug revelling in the band’s vocal and melodic prowess though it too has a tempestuousness in its heart which threatens more than escapes but brings gripping tension to the elegance and beauty breeding the transfixing encounter.
Both tracks provide an inspiring and captivating close to the EP with the latter especially beguiling, a release which has the temptation of the devil and the exploits of an imagination carrying an appetite to taste whole new adventures. Already we eagerly and greedily await the next temptation of Muskets.
Violent Paradise is out now via No Sleep Records, available @ https://muskets.bandcamp.com/album/violent-paradise
Pete RingMaster 09/08/2019
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