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(39:15: The Bloody Mallard)
I have been a fan of Matt Stevens from TFATD pretty much since his first release, and a new TFATF album is always a source of excitement for me, so when he dropped me an email asking me if I would be interested in hearing an instrumental band he was helping out I was immediately intrigued. He described them as being for fans of King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Baroness, Yob and Elder producing heavy psychedelic/alt/prog stuff, instrumentals, and I can certainly see where he is coming from. They are the brainchild of guitarist Tom Walding, who brought in drummer Jake Bradford-Sharp and bassist Raihan Rubin and worked with Jarred Hearman (Katy B, Wretch 32, Mammal, John Butler Trio, The Prodigy, Slipknot) to soundboard the sessions. The result is something which is often intense, distorted and powerful, yet also containing a simplicity and directness. They can be powering along one minute, crunching out the power riffs and then they can move into something far more delicate. Their sound is quite doom-laden, with drums providing the cut through (loads of great fills and different approaches from Bradford-Sharp), and they sometimes use feedback as a drone, while there is also room for acoustic guitar and a bass being played high on the neck. There is a lot of confidence in the music and it certainly does not seem like a debut album. It takes a lot of balls to get out there and play instrumentally, and I can certainly see why Matt Stevens is interested as I can see them sharing a lot of the same fanbase. Softer and gentler numbers such as “Reversion” are a musical mouthwash for the ears, a reset so that the heaviness can be fully appreciated when it returns. I get the impression from what I have read they haven’t played live, but that is something they want to address when the current situation is over and I can certainly hear why they have already been booked by HRH Prog for 2021. Instrumental and heavy, this is well worth discovering.
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