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(23:26; Boudicca Records)
This six-piece outfit was originally formed back in 2013 as the backing band singer/songwriter Erin Bennett, and together they released two albums and toured together before the decision was taken by Erin to stop performing as a solo act and reset themselves as Ebb. As well as Erin on vocals and guitar she is joined Nikki Francis (hammond, keyboards, synths), Dog (bass), Anna Fraser (drums), Suna Dasi (backing vocals) and Kitty Biscuits (backing vocals and poetry reciting). Dog is the only member of the band to sport a beard, but what makes this band stand out for me is not that five of the six are women but that they use three part female harmonies combined with melodic hard rock (with some proggy tinges) which really bring it home to me. I had to smile when I realised they live in a pagan art collective, as the closest I could get to them when trying to think of a comparable band was the mighty Incubus Succubus whose debut ‘Beltaine’ is still a great album, and when I saw them in the dive which was Oxford Stocks some 25 years ago they tore the place a new one. Along with Legend they were at the forefront of the Pagan music movement in the Nineties, and now it looks like we have a new gang on the block. This hasn’t been over sanitised, and when the band says this is representative of their live set, I can imagine that as it feels deliberately rough and raw, and one can imagine them going into the studio plugging in and then saying that’s it. Described as Heart meets Hawkwind, it must be said that to me that feels both inaccurate and rather unfair on the band as while one can argue they are like Heart in that they have powerful female vocals and rock, I don’t hear much Hawkwind in this set. Songs like “Suicide” are incredibly upbeat and pumping, while “So Great A Lover” contains spoken poetry, They say they play prog, sort of, and that “Sort of” statement convers a great deal. This is a melodic hard rock band anchored by some very good bass, great songs, a strong female lead voice with great harmonies, and is well worth discovering. I hope they keep it as raw as this, as this is giving them a hard edge which will assist them in breaking through.
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