Floridians The Electric Mud come flying out of the speakers from the very first second of the opening track of Burn The Ships, The First Murder on Mars. After that they don’t let up for a second, but it’s not all heads-down filth and thunder. No, this is a band with as fine a grasp of nuance as I’ve heard in a while, meaning that they handle full on heavy metal (that opener) one moment, soulful bluesy rock (A Greater Evil) the next without blinking.
The root of this, above and beyond the unquestioned musical smarts of all four musicians involved, is the staggering vocal performance of Peter Kolter. An alluring mix of Silverthorne‘s Pete Shoulder and Rival Sons‘ Jay Buchanan, the man is an absolute powerhouse throughout. His comparatively restrained performance on Call The Judge, when musically the band is losing it’s collective mind in a maelstrom of churning riffs and battering percussive overkill, shows just how much power and control the man possesses.
In fact churning riffs and battering percussive overkill would seem to be what this band does best, although the listener will find themselves just as enthralled by the album’s quieter moments too. Kolter and fellow guitarist Constantine Grim make formidable racket – check out the groovy harmony lead work at the start of the epic Priestess, delivered so effortlessly you might miss it if you’re not really paying attention, but their partnership is definitely bolstered and burnished by the bottom-end rumblings of rhythm section Tommy Scott (who adds some lissom basslines to the afore-mentioned Priestess) and drummer Pierson Whicker who maintains a hard-hitting presence across the whole record. This is a real band, make no mistake!
Repeated listens to Burn The Ships reveal that it is one of those rare, rare beasts – an album with no apparent flaws in it’s construction whatsoever; high quality throughout, it’s a record you’ll find yourself returning to over and over again – great stuff!
Burn The Ships releases on September 25th.