Back at the start of the month, I took a mini vacation down to the South English coast at Torquay for a couple of days, where, to be honest, I spent 80% of my time enjoying the sun and drinking. On the way there however I made a little stop at some place called Burnham-On-Sea…never heard of it before, but all I can tell you is that it was quiet…windy as all hell and the tide had gone out for what seemed like MILES. I honestly thought Godzilla had mistaken the place for Hawaii and was about to stroll up the beach causing another tsunami it had gone that far out. Anyway my time there was fleeting and I thought nothing else of it. Today however, I decided to take a dip into my email submissions and low and behold, the first EPK I click on happens to be from a band from Burnham On-Sea! Let me introduce you to SOME VILLAINS.
The four-piece (Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Edward Graves, guitarist Luke Tozer, drummer Stu Donavan and bassist Jake Beckett) have been on the scene since their 2014 single “Loose Generation”, and with their love of everything between classic rock ‘n’ roll, indie and prog, they’ve established themselves as a group of interesting and intelligent musicians. Their 2016 EP “Lizard Teeth” highlighted their admiration of experimental prog-rock and shoegaze, with predominantly longer tracks and the influence of RADIOHEAD and SMASHING PUMPKINS shining through…but here now in 2019, they’ve stripped things back a little and focused more on a grittier rock ‘n’ roll sound for their latest EP “Outliers”. The lads asked me to check it out, and seeing as I visited their home town it would be rude not to sample some of their wares!
The EP opens up with “Masters Sun” and it really doesn’t take long at all to get into the meat and potatoes of this record…we start off with some simple alternating chords, before the track lets rip with some ballsy, hard-rock riffage. The bass is deep and rumbling almost to the point where it’s sludge inspired, but we’ve got a rich groove, and vocally here Graves’ is rather hushed and subdued. Their love for QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE shines through here given the stoner / desert rock tones, coupled with an energetic up-tempo chorus; this is simply a great rock track. EP highlight “Burn Me Down” follows up and we’re initially met some almost WOLFMOTHER-esque instrumentation; combining classic rock and indie tones…the guitar is slick and frankly gallops along excitedly. The prog influences filter through vocally as Graves’ sings in an almost polyrhythmic manner, but it’s the convivial guitar tone that makes this track; it’s just fun.
“The Skin” again maintains an up-tempo vibe albeit somewhat darker in tone, bordering on atmospheric, with more hushed vocals, slightly raspy sounding in places reminding of JULY TALK to some degree, but we’re treated to a strong solo that certainly stands out as the tracks major talking point, before closing effort “Ghosts In The Field” incorporates a more shoegaze aesthetic alongside some again, darkly tinged indie rock…the type of sound that would appeal to fans of INTERPOL and the like. All in all though, there’s nothing truly negative to say about this EP whatsoever quite frankly. While the band are clearly better when they let their hair down and get gritty when it comes to the rock ‘n’ roll, the mellower tones do naturally compliment Graves’ vocal approach. There’s no bells and whistles here, they’re a band and they keep it simple…having stripped back to a more classic rocking approach, and by cutting the track length from their previous EP ever so slightly, they come across as more polished and clinical in terms of their presentation. Not knocking the more prog-based sound of their previous work, but this does sound like an improvement. Some Villains by name but to fair lads you’re not sounding half bad at all.