Dark Stares; hailing from St Albans the British Rockers have steadily been building a name for themselves since their inception in 2011. From requests to support Enter Shikari and The Darkness to gaining national airplay and press with the likes of Metal Hammer and XFM for their previous EP’s Tell Your Friends and Octopon. This lot seem to go from strength to strength, so is their latest release something to shout about or is it set to get lost in the sea of mediocrity that becomes radio playable music?
Right from the off Liquid Reign is dark, dingy, stoner influenced rock that taps into the soul and makes it sway, like the last drunken man at a party. It just oozes style and what is more it has the substance to back it up. The bass here is immense, the vocals haunting and the riffs easily imprinted on the brain. Think Queens of the Stone Age, think stoner rock heaven, here you have it. This little ditty sets the tone for the entire album, with a slow bass riff that screams early Black Sabbath to the melodious vocals it is just an out and out hit from start to end.
Followed by Hypnotize, yes you will be, more heavy riff work, with a slight 70s vibe reminiscent of Hendrix at points throbs through the speakers all whilst you are being transported by the immensely talented vocals of Miles who is backed superbly by the consistent drum beat that leaves you wanting more.
Third up is Ordinary Way, what can I say? Intricate guitar play, steady drum work; almost a diluted version of Muse at points, and whilst this is by no means a bad thing, there is something not quite right. It lacks a bit of power here, if any of the tracks were made for radio it is this. It is not that I dislike it, far from it; it just seems a bit more generic and lacklustre than the other stuff they have produced so far.
On Animal they are back - the stoner, grunge vibe comes back nice and strong here and I love it, don’t ever change, please! The melodious backing track hits the soul from the beginning and just does not let go. Echoed by the immense vocal work of Miles and his sultry performance, it is an instant hit. Around the half way mark there is some guitar instrumental loveliness that is downright eargasm material. And on that note I shall move on…
Cruise Control the finale of this so far outstanding album, dark and dingy, again, yes please! The screaming bass, the hard hitting guitar, the sludgy vocals, all of it just works. The chorus will stick in your head, the pounding bass will make you weak at the knees and it will, without a doubt leave you wanting more.
Their five track EP is jam packed with slow pounding riffs, consistent, solid drum work and throbbing bass that transports you to another world, one that is slightly hazy and ever so fuggy through the weed soaked vibrations emanating forth. I likes it.
The real stand out; scream from the rooftops, highlight of Soul Contract is this; the fusion; the harmony of the performance. Mile’s vocals soars above the heavy riff work, the unswerving solid drumming, the throbbing bass, it all works together to create a unique vibe that whilst harkens to other acts stands out as theirs and theirs alone. They could become trail blazers.
The entire EP, as short as it is, is quality personified, the riff work intricate but not so complex as to deter the listener. The songs are not about ego, pomp and circumstance just good, clean, sharp productions that offer an easy and enjoyable listen. You don’t have to think about it, it is a mind wandering journey without the hassle of listening to something that will make your ears bleed.
It is an exceptional offering that is sure to push them to new heights within the British rock scene, I know I for one have added them to the list of band’s to see.