Tailors Of Mayhem‘s debut EP Transmission Received (released August 18th, 2017) sounds like something Kurt Cobain would have written if his drug of choice had been marijuana rather than heroin. I’m sure Cobain smoked his fair share of reefer, but you get the idea. An astute blend of stoner rock and grunge, a little bit punk, a little bit alternative, this EP is like junk food for me, without all those horrible empty calories.
I draw the comparison to Nirvana, but not the polished, ultra-accessible Nirvana you hear on Nevermind. I’m talking about the dirty stuff, the seedy, “don’t give a fuck” punk-rock abandon you hear on Bleach. You can hear it on the opening riff of the first track “Oh So Sully,” an infectious beckon to bang your head. The song doesn’t have a “true” chorus, but instead swap it for guitarists Phil Racette and Juan Mendez repeating the riff pattern in waves of varying tonality over an epic beat-down on drums by Mathieu Perrier. The song honestly doesn’t need anything else, with a straightforward punk structure and a fuzzed-out, dirty grunge sound; it’s like the afterbirth of a baby conceived by The Ramones and Mudhoney. “Better Days” slows down the pace, but definitely not the ferocity. I got some serious Alice in Chains vibes from this track; the opening guitar flourish could have been something Jerry Cantrell had in his back pocket. The slower, plodding melody goes hand in hand with the song’s sorrowful, depressing lyrics about a longing for, well… better days.
Tailors Of Mayhem keep dishing out the dirty riffs on “Kamikaze” and “Lethargic Insomniac,” delving into some more elongated stoner-rock territory. If you get down to bands like Kyuss and Tad, these songs provide the same guttural punch and unrelenting down-tuned guitar attack. “Kamikaze” is a pure ball of energy. It feels like one of those songs you want to drive your car extremely fast to. (Not that I’m condoning speeding… I would never suggest that, but, you know, if you do speed, play this track.) “Lethargic Insomniac” is a groovier type of psych jam with a whimsical tone and some balls-to-the-wall heavy riffing. The last track “Mountain Man” has the dirtiest riffs on the EP, and though slower in pace than the other tracks, it maintains the same heaviness that is signature to the sound of Tailors Of Mayhem. While each song has its unique qualities, they all coalesce into a defining sound for the band, which is a true sign of a great debut. If you get your kicks from the dirtier side of 90s grunge music, Transmission Received is a must listen!
Written by Lee Ferguson
*edited by Lia Davis