Released : 31st March 2014
Out of the ashes of the recently expired Whipcord comes Beat Vermilion. Retaining the same line-up of Duncan Purcell (bass), Gary Porter (drums) and Nick Barry (guitar and vocals) for this recording the band have moved to another phase in their musical career. Porter recently left the band.
It’s clear from the outset that this is going to be a seriously loud and uncompromising affair. The driving pulse of “Stolidly Built” kicks things off in a riot of joyous riffage and some serious guitar abuse from Mr Barry. The preceding combo always had the unique capacity to meld seriously heavy rock music in with great melodies and they haven’t lost that ability. Matters continue in the same vein with “Ephermerun” with vocals ranging between tortured scream and mellow (ish) melody on the chorus. It then gets seriously heavy with “Waiver Another” with it’s relentless riff and ear-worm chorus. Closer “Frozen Heart of Gold” comes across like “Lark Tongues In Aspic” period Crimson in bed with Motorhead, namechecks the band, and batters the listener into submission. Lyrically the four pieces offer an interesting impressionistic/symbolic approach – there is no direct narrative but more a series of abstract statements which adds to the overall intensity of the music.
I asked Duncan why Whipcord had finished “Well, we decided to called it day with Whipcord because as much as we loved them and it, we got tired of playing the same songs and tired of the name, it was becoming a bit of a cabaret thing. Although it was direct and suited the sound, it wasn’t as faceless or as mystical as Nick wanted it to be. Given the Zeppelin, King Crimson, Fugazi and Rudimentary Peni love in the band, he wanted the us to be that little more enigmatic, with only artwork and music being the face of the band. We are lifers so giving up wasn’t an option. Considering everything and our chequered history of being predictably unpredictable (and that will continue), I think it was something we needed to do and we took it as far as we could. Also during the hiatus our drummer decided to retire from music and started a new life in Liverpool (although on board with the idea at the time), pretty much cemented the brand new challenge even more. Luckily he managed to stick around long enough to record the EP.”
The EP is self recorded, Purcell explained “…….using primitive micing techniques. We only used 4 mics in total because drums don’t seem to sound as natural nowadays as they did on the records in the 60’s and 70’s so we did TRY to recreate that sound. We’re no experts so It was totally trial and error…..”
The band are currently writing new material and hope to be playing their first gigs in the summer.
I shall be featuring the EP in the Sonic Attack podcast over the next couple of weeks. Those of you who loved Whipcord will find something here to enjoy I think. The band, despite retaining the same line-up for this recording, seem darker and more intense which to my mind is a good thing. Highly recommended!