Wednesday 19 December 2018

. ~ 57 DOWN ...... review

Desert Psychlist has always approached bands that execute their grooves without the use of a lead/rhythm guitarist with a little trepidation, we suppose it has something to do with our growing up in an age when the instrument, wielded by the likes of Hendrix, Clapton, and Page was king. Strangely enough, and having made that statement, it was only when we were halfway through ".",the sparkling new album from Lincoln, UK's 57 Down,that we realised, to our surprise, all the string work was being executed on two basses!

The lack of any six string action on 57 Down's "." is more than made up for by the incredible fat stringed prowess of both Matt Chapman and Billy Law-Bregan, the two bassists combining with Daryl Hockings superbly powerful percussion to not only drive this EP's four songs but also to prove that the lack of a guitarist in this day and age is not a disadvantage but can actually be a positive. Factor in the superb mixture of power and grit that Johnny Mittens brings to the table with his vocals and the lack of screaming solo's is almost forgotten. Groove combined with strong song writing are the foundations on which "." is built, from the absolutely enthralling torch like dynamics of "Crown of Thorns" to the prog tinted stonerish attack of  closer "Stockholm Calling" there is, among the grumbling basses and pummelling percussion, an element of swinging melodic swagger to be found that is as refreshing as it is exciting.

Those of you who out there who live for that moment when the bass and drums drop away to allow the lead guitarist to take flight are going to be surprised by 57 Down's "." mainly because those soaring flights are still in place they are just a little deeper and a lot more grizzly!
Check it out ….

© 2018 Frazer Jones

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