If the history of music has taught us anything… it’s probably too long to actually list! But for the purpose of my witty opener, I’m going to say it’s taught us that shit can get good, weird, and heavy in England.” Villainous out of Brighton, England seem intent on keeping this trend going with their upcoming self-titled EP, fusing all kinds of funky different flavors from the wonderful land of heavy metal. Three songs and a whole lot of mixed emotions later, I’m here to tell you what I thought of it just so you can make your own fucking decision about listening to it when it actually drops on October 10th , 2018. Who feels useful? I feel useful.
Addressing the immediate elephant in the room with this particular act is the oddly simple yet eclectic choice of noticeable influences. To the simple ears of this shitty music pundit, I hear a bit of a cum dumpster between Pantera, Machine Head, and 36 Crazyfists (very specifically in terms of vocal harmonies and melodies) just to start with. This is a tight act with a ton to offer musically, however at times the band will break into what feels like an oversimplification as an effort to fit into the very meta hard-rock niche. These moments are scattered and tend to come off as all kinds of cheesy, but then are oddly followed by very satisfying melodic breaks and ridiculously pleasing rhythm work. Compositionally speaking. whichever way these dudes wanted to approach these tunes, I really hope THEY at least feel like they accomplished their goal, because following along logistically was a little tough, regardless of the entertainment factor.
The biggest tip of the hat for this musical effort without any question or debate whatsoever has to go to the mixing and mastering quality. Each section from harsh to clean vocals to rhythm and strings all sound beautifully clear and crisp. Something might be said for tone choice on the guitar sections, but regardless of that, this was a really nice piece to absorb from the standpoint of quality production and for this, this act more than deserves a solid verbal hand job. Despite how absolutely stellar the knob work may sound here, I still have the hardest time shaking how discombobulating (yet simple?) the actual writing can be. See, I’m even fucking myself up just trying to explain it in words, and I swear to god if a single commenter says, “Well that’s prog, bro!” I’ll fucking fight you. Alas, I digress again. This is a stellar EP and worth taking the time to watch the band progress towards HOPEFULLY something an iota more sensical.
Written by Jason Greenberg
*edited by Kate Erickson