Thursday, 7 February 2013

WOBBLY LAMPS – EP REVIEW

Wobbly Lamps - Drella

Wobbly Lamps – Drella EP (Polyvinyl Craftsmen Records)

Uncompromising. It’s a word that gets bandied about all too easily these days along with legend, awesome and amazing. These are words that have lost their power through over use in the same way that if you read the word spade enough times it loses all meaning. Spade. Spade. Spade. Spade. Spade. Spade. Spade. Spade. See? Anyway, this second EP release from Southend-on-Sea’s Wobbly Lamps confirms that they are a truly uncompromising band of brothers and one well worth your ear time. From the neo-psychadelic artwork through the song titles and then to the music, Wobbly Lamps are doing things their way and anyone who gets in the way, well, they’ll just be obliterated I would've thought. This EP is limited to a run of 250 7” records and the opening track of Drella, ‘Never Ever Bloody Anything Ever’, is a swirling maelstrom of distortion, delay and buzzsaw riffs that the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club might have come up with if they’d been hanging out with Mark E Smith 35 years ago. Sure, there are some nice melodies reminiscent of Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet or early Nirvana but it’s the atmosphere that draws you in. Let’s face it, this is a five minute long A-side with minimal vocals and no discernible structure but it makes you want to dance like Ian Curtis on a good day.

On the B-Side comes the more straight-forward ‘Haxan’ (Google tells me this might be a tribute to a Danish/Swedish silent Horror movie from 1922 and literally translates as ‘the Witches’) which has an immense organ sound running through it to give the impression of Dracula going a bit grunge in his old age. There are elements of Rocket From The Crypt and sadly overlooked Belgian quartet Les Anges to this and it’s flippin’ ace. The other half of the B-side is dedicated to ‘Gretchin Fetchin’ and sees vocalist Gareth Thomas on fine form for a man who appears to have swallowed his microphone, meaning he can only sing in a voice that Bill Hicks’ Goat Boy would have been proud of. Towards the end of the track there’s a hypnotic breakdown that builds back up until you can almost hear the band rolling around on the floor and jumping in to the audience before the venue cut the power. This is music driven by the utter self belief of five men that what they are doing is good, important and utterly worth your time. There’s no false modesty or self doubt here, just colours nailed to the mast and attitude that screams “If you don’t like it ....you’re wrong”. Like I said, uncompromising.


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