By Sister Morphine (Bristol)
This four piece, hailing from Bristol, although new on the scene are no fledglings. Currently touring with Kasabian, it is clear to see why there is such a growing interest in this energy fuelled band. If you are going to stick anything on your mp3 player to wring every last note out of, then you can't go far wrong with Sister Morphine.
These guys and girl (Maudie Lowe - ex Canatella) have a familiar sound with plenty of assaulting twists and a dark edginess which sets then apart head and shoulders above most of the rest. They blend perfectly a mix of old and new versions of rock/metal/punk and indie fusions, which explode dynamically from any speaker.
First track, 'Down Stairs Mix Up' is upfront and in your face to the point of ripping it off, no time for polite introductions, and who cares when the handshake after drags you inside, smiles then licks your cheek afterwards. This band is what the undearly departed local band Laconic should have been, but they just didn't have the balls.
What is apparent immediately is a striding bass and some of the best guitar shredding I have heard in a long while. It is edgy and exciting and they even throw in a classic rock Wayne's World break to keep you guessing what they're really about. The contrast of the female vocal really lifts this track to an entirely new level.
Track two, 'Money Shot' has a threatening guitar intro which promises something to get your teeth into, but it teases you just enough with its little pull backs. There is something a tad reminiscent of Echobelly/Republica in the vocal from Maudie, but the indie vocal lyric slicks over a raw driving back drop of ripping guitar sounds bursting with strong, surprisingly tightly played drum lines, which are just velvety enough not to bruise your eardrums. This track really shows the bands individual talents on their own merits and collectively, and they even dabble with a musical spanner by putting an undercurrent of industrial darkness into the works.
The third and final track on the EP is 'Breathe' Once again, hypnotic drumming and guitar riffs from Jim Davey (formerly Halo) and Shane Roynon.
My only criticism of this track is that is they should decide who is singing, either it should be just male, or just female. Not being sexist in any way, the female vocal sounds much better so therefore would win hands down. Maudie Lowe executes the lyrics on just an equal footing with anything Debbie Harry could belt out.
'Breathe' could be something very, very special - even down to the very last 'ping' of what sounds like a triangle on the very last note.
These guys are a kick up the arse for the music scene and I can't wait to see them live, because after listening to this EP, I am 100% positive that they can deliver. A very impressive outfit and one to definitely watch with interest for the not too distant future.