Thursday 20 October 2016


Amy Tung and Jon Barrysmith are Year Of The Cobra, a two piece heavy stoner/hard rock duo comprising of bass, drums and vocals, a duo who shook the rafters of the underground scene when, only a year ago, they released their three song debut EP "Black Sun". With the praise and plaudits of the underground press ringing in their ears YOTC hit the road hard over 2016, splitting their time between family and the road but still managing to fit in time for recording songs for a new album.
So with a hectic but very productive year behind them and with the talents of legendary producer/engineer and mixing desk maestro Billy Anderson at helm the duo are about to release their first full length album  "In The Shadows Below" on STB Records (29th October).

First track "Lion and The Unicorn"  begins with Amy Tung's bass feeding back over Jon Barrysmith's slow tribal backbeat before erupting like a volcano into a whirlwind groove of gnarly bass riffage and pounding percussion. At just over the halfway mark the mood changes and the tempo shifts into a slow and heavy doom groove, over which Tung's ghost-like vocal pours like cool water over jagged rocks, before falling back into the songs original refrain to take things to the close.
"The Siege" follows and has a slightly more "occult rock" vibe than that of the previous song. Tung lays down a juddering bass line around which she weaves a clear sweet toned vocal that is driven from beneath by Barrysmith's busy drum work, the man on the stool filling every space with both intricate and thunderous percussion.
"Vision of Three" is an atmospheric piece driven by Barrysmith's Bonham-esque pounding drum patterns and dominated by Tung's heavily distorted Rickenbacker bass. Tung employs over this onslaught of rhythm a fragile almost simpering tone, her vocals airy and ethereal in total contrast to the titanic grooves erupting around them.
"Spider and the Fly" finds Tung toning down the distortion a notch or two and opting for a cleaner bass tone and a slightly more swinging vocal approach that is underpinned by some stunning percussion work from Barrysmith.
"Persephone" begins with a delicious Tung bassline that then morphs into an uptempo punk(ish) refrain only to shift gears once again and move into an occult drenched stoner groove. Tung's stuttering bassline and smooth honeyed vocals are superbly backed up by Barrysmith's drums and sees the two musicians perfectly complimenting each other throughout.
"White Wizard", the only track to have also appeared on "Black Sun", is here deeper sounding with more focus on atmosphere, Barrysmith's simplistic beat, a little flat on the original, here echo's around Tung's vocal and low bass, setting the pace with almost metronomic intensity. Tung switches her vocal between sweet willowy and strong melodic while at the same time laying down dark swathes of liquid bass.
"Temple of Apollo" sees YOTC coming at the listener from a slightly more commercial sounding angle with Tung and Barrysmith jamming an almost punk/pop groove around a verse/chorus/verse pattern that to Desert Psychlist's riff ravaged ears has echo's of New York art-punks Blondie in their rockier moments.
"Electric Warrior" closes proceedings with an occult/doom-lite groove built around a massive Tung bassline and thundering Barrysmith drum pattern. Tung ups the ante vocally, her voice, still melodic and creamy but edged with a touch of dark grittiness, sits regally above the swirling heavy slow to mid-tempo grooves beneath it.

"In The Shadows Below" is probably one of the most highly anticipated albums of 2016 (quite a feat for a relatively new band) and one that delivers on all levels
Check it out .....

No comments:

Post a Comment