Monday, 7 September 2015

Caught In The Desert

Another week, another release out of the it Records stable to get excited about. This time it's Little Desert, featuring a new lineup (the band now has Ema Dunstan (Jouissance) and the irrepressible Bonnie Mercer (Grey Daturas) on guitar) and a captivating (sorry) single in 'Captive'. It's the first taste of their upcoming debut album Saeva. I wasn't sure at first - the swooning theatrics had me at arm's length. But the ace in the hole is the musicianship - the rattling bass, a tenacious grip with sharp jabs of guitar and organ (an iconic turn from Rocket Science madman Roman Tucker), a tight rhythm pinning everything down - and then the breakdown halfway through where everything becomes ominous. Drums sounding out from a cavernous prog-rock wasteland, that turns into a flat flap, like hitting a snare with a thong; wistful keys that move between ritualistic altar worship and schmaltzy Morricone...and it is here that Esther Rivers' vocals burst forth, and the whole thing makes sense. When she belts out 'Diana!', you will be screaming it too (in fact, the only thing missing is a bloodcurdling death howl in the dying moments).

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