London band The Fierce And The Dead goes for a tougher sound on their new EP On VHS. With four tracks that can be labeled as instrumental prog metal, Stevens, Cleaton, Feazy and Marshall grit their teeth to follow each others improvised chord progressions and time signatures. A jazz approach taking that pays off handsomely.
Opener 666...6 is King Crimson meets Sonic Youth, with he former having the upper hand in the end. Hawaii isn't about sunshine and palm trees, but filled with torrents of bass notes and a dry drum sound that makes you reach for a glass of water, with the lead guitar surfing on top of the mathematical mayhem attacking the air waves - although they slow down for a coda with slide guitar. Title track On VHS is a showcase for Stevens' looping capabilities, instantly recognizable but always a treat for those who are following his solo career closely. Part 3 has a Pixies' bass line bubbling under a echo filled lead guitar with bits and pieces of Ry Cooder and Steve Hackett.
With band like The Fierce And The Dead, progressive rock can move forward, a bit of good news a for a self-absorbing genre that loves to look back so much.
The Fierce And The Dead:
Matt Stevens: guitars, pedals
Steve Cleaton: guitars, pedals
Kev Feazey: bass, guitars, synths
Stuart Marshall: drums, percussion
On VHS is released on their own label Spencer Park Music. Buy it (digital is pay-what-you-want) from the band's website. The CD is currently sold out, but new ones will be available as soon as possible.Tracks:
- On VHS
- Part 3
- 05/26 Whitechapel, UK @ The Urban Bar
HCTF review of If It Carries On Like This We Are Moving To Morecambe.