Cirque De La Mort
30th April 2013
The debut EP from the rather marvellous Lipstick Traces contains four blistering tunes of such magnificence that the old shiver up the spine is there when listening to them.
Having featured the band on the now defunct radio show and on subsequent blogs, and written of them in glowing terms in the Zeen I am pleased to continue my admiration unreservedly in respect of their work after listening to this release.
Front man Tony Daniels is in excellent form here with vocal performances which defy description – the variety of tone on the closing “Escape from NY” is sensational. He moves from Johnny Cash baritone, through the louche blues extremes of a Jagger, to the howling rage of a Cobain with the band shifting from americana, via piano balladry to garage rock with effortless precision. Keyboardist Jason Taylor comes into his own on this track offering a glorious sound palette for the rest of the band to deliver over.
The EP title track is a riff driven blues with Adam Mortimer excelling on guitar – beautifully understated solo – and Mark Williams with Daniel Bevan offering a uber-tight four to the floor rhythm. “Broken Lung” beats the hell out of anything i’ve heard recently with it’s relentless blues riffage and the memorable “The Chase” is up there with a few choice tunes as song of the year with Daniels fractured vocals full of emotion delivering over a great riff.
I took the chance to ask Tony and Adam a few questions around this release…..
Have any of the band members been in other bands/currently doing other projects?
Tony: Over the past four years I’ve always been doing some kind of project with at least one member of Lipstick Traces, first year of University I was in a band called ‘Pet Project’ with Dan and Mark, then ‘The Universal’ with Adam and in other bands in college with Jay. I also write a lot of other material I have been working on; I’ll be releasing that under my old alias of TurbanTurbanDave.
Adam: I’ve been in various bands over the years but I got into Lipstick when I was in another band with Tony, he wanted someone else to bring a different dimension so I thought I’d give it a go and I’ve enjoyed being in a band with such close friends. As well as Lipstick I also play guitar/synth in Rachel Waters’ band and in Moscow Transport, all made up of friends from the same degree, I like to keep creative so I don’t go stale.
Where was the EP recorded?
Adelphi Basement Studios at Salford University, the majority of us are music students at the university so we thought it would be a waste not to use the resources to create an EP whilst we were there. ‘The Chase’ and ‘Broken Lung’ were both live recordings so we just played until we got the right take, ‘Cirque De La Mort’ and ‘Escape from NY’ were overdub recordings with the bass and drums recorded together to help capture that live intensity.
Any gigs/tour planned (other than the launch)
We’re still looking into it at the moment; we’re hoping to go down to London and do a few gigs and we’re currently talking to some promoters, there is also talk of going to Germany to do a few gigs and to have a nice holiday. As for local gigs we’ll be looking for a gig in Manchester in May, we don’t want to overload people with gigs.
Famous Last Words – a great song – why didn’t it make it onto the EP?
Tony: It’s going to be a bonus track on the physical copy of the EP, which we will be giving away for free at our launch night, we never really know how to play the song live so it’s taken a back seat to the rest of the songs.
Adam: It was always an audacious track once we took it off stage and brought it into the studio and as a band we’ve found it hard to really do it justice more than anything, it’s a lovely song about a sad topic and it carries a lot of emotional weight so I guess we’d be doing it an injustice if we gave it anything less than 100% from both a compositional and performance perspective.
The band are launching the EP at Retro Bar in Manchester on April 23rd – £3 entrance with a free copy of the EP. Rachel Waters and the Novasons will also be playing.
EP of the year so far for me.
Check them out on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LipstickTracesBand