Thursday, March 29, 2012

Switchblade Rosie - Nocturnal Guest EP

Switchblade Rosie are one of the most aurally interesting things I’ve heard in a while. This band takes inspiration from all over the place and isn't afraid to explore and experiment with their music, which is both a  brave and respectable thing in music.

Their EP Nocturnal Guest starts out with Piano and these almost soft rock vocals, which if you had only seen the album art probably doesn’t match your expectations. However a few moments the sound changes, we’re met with a fast drum pattern and heavy guitars and soon some screamed vocals. Although it’s not as heavy, I’m instantly reminded of Between the Buried and Me because of their ability to go from straight deathcore to slower more jazzy stuff. I’m also reminded of Crossfades' latest album which was very progressive metal inspired. This album sound like something in between those two examples. It’s an interesting sound swap that happens all throughout the album, and it definitely keeps you on your toes.

Now I know vocals are something of a make it or break it for many people, so I’ll start by saying the vocals are sung half the time and screamed the other half, so if clean vocals aren’t really your thing you may not enjoy this. The vocals are pretty good however, the clean vocals aren’t auto-tuned and have an honest feel to them, the screams are generally mid-ranged with the occasional low growl, but Chris definitely does a great job blending and transitioning between clean and screamed.

The guitars do a rather great job all over the place. Typically we get some great driving riffs with some interesting lead guitar work thrown in, that seems a bit inspired by some of Obscura’s stuff to me. One notable thing is the bass guitar, which has both presence and talent all throughout. It’s generally always audible, and always doing something interesting. the whole album is a pretty solid in this way. The rhythm guitars keep the pace along with some good backing from the bass, and the lead guitar throws in a good solo here and there.

‘Gale Force Brutality’ is probably my favorite song on the album, and easily the best drum wise. It’s got the craziest time changes, and the drums keep pace so well; going from slower beats to full on blasting multiple times throughout. Really interesting stuff!

There isn't a whole lot of atmosphere in the album, possibly because of the small amount of time. The songs don't try and fight each other though, they work together well to make a short album that flows pretty well.

Overall Switchblade Rosie have presented us with a really interesting debut EP. There is no doubt these guys have talent. I would say, that in the age of technical and digital perfection we are in, the production could be a bit better, but I imagine these guys made this album out of their own pocket and with that in mind it’s a very good sounding album. The album is also a bit short because it's only four tracks, but hey it's an EP. I would love to see what they could do on a  full length though.These guys are definitely a band to watch in the future, and I hope them the best.

Go like these guys on Facebook and give them a shout!

And here's a song for you guys to hear:

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