On the face of it it's not a great time to be a classic rock fan. Greg Lake, of Emerson Lake and Palmer, passed away in December, Led Zeppelin are still defending 'Stairway to Heaven' against accusations of plagiarism and Black Sabbath have hung up their guitars for good. It seems we are all sat around waiting for the next Nirvana.
But wait a minute, who's this riding into shot with their dirty coal faces? 'Minatore' may blush at comparisons with such classic rock acts, but the Nottingham based duo share the same hallmark of greatness. Take a listen to Tommy Keeling and Morgan Pettigrew's debut EP, and you'll see what I mean. It's released today and is available via Minatore's Bandcamp site as a digital download, limited addition cassette or CD.
The opening track 'Top Down' bursts into life through a haze of rasping buzzsaw guitars. Keeling spits out lyrics that are more observational than a Louis Theroux documentary. This is a catchy rock song, which just needs the air play to catch on.
'Feathersone', named after a bottle of red wine and packing an equally heady punch, rumbles along menacingly before a hard sprint through the finish line.
'Movin' On', begins with some laid back string plucking from Keeling before kicking in with the kind of boogie woogie beat that AC/DC would be proud of.
There's a bonus too in 'Timeshifter'. This instrumental begins as if it were a prelude to a Buddhist incantation. At 7mins 46 seconds it's a patiently constructed, almost self- indulgent, track. Yet, in a world where 3 mins seems a long time to listen to something (or someone), it rewards the listener like a sort of musical layer cake.
I once wrote that success = hard work + luck. Minatore are certainly putting the hard work in, gigging anywhere and everywhere they can. With luck they will take their place amongst the greats. So, get in early and one day you may be able to wear a smug look that says: "I knew Minatore before they were famous".