They are called Flayed. They are signed to French extreme metal label Kaotoxin.

You know exactly what they sound like, right?

WRONG!! In what must be one of the most incongruous name/musical style/label interfaces of all time, French outfit Flayed don’t deal in blackened death metal or brutal pornogrind; Rather, they cook up a strange brew of Deep purple, Uriah Heep and Creedence Clearwater Revival (they go so far as to cover John Fogerty and co’s Fortunate Son on this surprisingly appealing EP), all driven by the incendiary Hammond organ work of Rafinet that seems to be the physical embodiment of a made-in-heaven confluence of Jon Lord, Ken Hensley and Don Airey.

At times it gets a bit pub rocky – especially on the Creedence cover – but there’s no denying the sheer gusto with which these denizens of Vienne go about their business. Vocalist Renato is a bit of a find too, never oversinging though he’s clearly got the pipes to do so, whilst guitarists Ju and Rico both know their way well enough round a fretboard to shine when they are called upon to do so. On their own material the band show a commendable amount of grit too, especially on the grubby-sounding Shoot the Trail which brings to mind memories of nineties yokels Reef, especially in the vocal department.

This EP is a hell of a lot of fun to listen to, and if the idea of a French version of Thunder appeals to you then I suggest you get on board quickly. Splendid stuff.