The debut EP release from the Warrington born blues-rock trio ‘The Black Circles’, can make any bus ride seem like a trip down a bayou backwater. With a thick hearty guitar tone, Sam Bratley rips out a tone reminiscent to that of Clutch’s 2004 ‘Blast tyrant’ with his fast fingers whilst ‘I got soul’ takes you back to Chuck Berry duck walking through dance hall, and the original sound of rebellion.
The opening track ‘Wasted days’ has raw head-banging angst at its heart, something to really open your eyes to. A sweet little guitar solo seals the deal of this song, gives the track that flare of the unmistakable blues-rock core.
‘All My Love’ roars in with a big primal sound closer to the traditions of blues-rock and Bratley embodies this in his own smoky, demented but brilliant vocals and lays out a pulsating rhythm of raw rock & roll, his work comes into its own, the intoxicating beat takes over and moves your whole body back and forth. Strong bass and heavy drums add the energy and the fuel to the rhythm.
‘All But None’ has a similar formula to All my Love but with the brooding and menace of their blues rock brothers Rival sons. Distortion makes the guitar sing throughout the songs long open spaces, a mind numbing throwback to Hendrix, making this track an exceptional and original almost unbelievably good, good listening.
Number four ‘My Father’s Eyes’ opens on an acoustic guitar, giving a folky softness and intimacy to the track (also implied in the softer, personal vocals) however still maintaining a strength and mastery of the genre without undermining the intention of the song. This sets the song aside from the rest, a welcomed contrast.
Lastly with its fun riff and manic rockabilly licks swinging us back to the 1950’s, ‘I Got Soul’ has up beat drums and the bluesy bass, prove that rock outlived the big boppa, Ending the EP on a euphoric foot tapping high .
Bratley roars out tracks, giving a primal Reznor, razor style growl that cuts through the instruments, but keeps it fresh by bringing it down to a Cobain murmur that really adds to the feel of the songs themselves. More than admirable drummer Josh Winter is definitely the battering ram of the band, pushing through great tracks like Wasted Days and My father’s Eyes adding depth and power behind the lead and the bass. The fusion of genres pays off, sounding more like a stoned jam than a perfected piece which perfectly complements the originality, keeping the listener anticipated to where this crazy cocktails going to take them, but it tastes good and you’re going to love every minute of plugging it in and cranking it up.
Certainly hope to hearing more from them.
‘The Black Circles’ is available now from iTunes & Amazon.
For Fans of: Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters
Download: Wasted Days
(The thoughts of any reviewer is the sole opinion of themselves and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of [WAM])