Axestasy – geddit? Oh, the japes… but seriously, it’s good to have American crossoverists BAT back, even within the confines of this short, sharp shock of an EP.

That’s right, almost three years to the day since I reviewed BAT’s last effort, the superb Wings of Chains album, the band is back but only, sadly, with a five-and-a-bit-track extended player. I complained last time around that twenty nine minutes of BAT wasn’t enough, and now we’re having to make do less than a quarter of an hour, but thems the breaks I guess. The first thing to note is that there’s been gratifyingly little in the way of progress made by the band since the release of Wings… Opening track Wild Fever crashes in with a soupcon more Motörhead than we’ve detected of yore, Felix Griffin giving it some welly behind the kit with some patent Taylor d-beatery, and there’s maybe just a hint more melody in the guitar work than we’ve become used to, but, apart from this, it’s very much business as usual – that is to say, just how we like it!

Wild Fever is probably the highlight of the EP, although ICE is pretty gnarly in it’s own right. And the bile-filled chug of Ritual Fool is a living-room moshpit waiting to happen; if you don’t skank your way giddily into the best china on your Welsh Dresser whilst cavorting to this track I’ll want an explanation, that’s for bloody sure…

In fact, scrub everything I’ve just said. There are no standouts here – every track (even the twenty seven seconds of Slash of the Blade) is a major rager, underlining again why this sort of music – when executed as well as this – has stayed dear to our grimy little hearts for so long.

Axestacy is out now.