Monday 27 January 2014

SHE - Sheezus

EP review by

It's the rock and roll parable that's most readily and cyclically recounted, the audiophiles take on an Aesop fable; away from the eyes of the general populous, in some dank, defiled rehearsal space located beneath railway arches or in the decaying body of a former nightspot, a time served band on the local scene plug in their amps in readiness for a run through of their smoothly planed formula - only to be rudely disturbed by the raucous commotion emitting from the neighbouring quarter. There they find a collection of teenagers, thrashing away at their instruments with a vigour that suggests they’re revelling in a headline tour of the globe's iconic amphitheatres, rather than swallowing each others' sweat in a banged-up box room. The seasoned musicians look on in bewilderment; this is messy, bonkers and more than a little bit thrilling!

Whether the desirable hamlets of Hertfordshire play home to rotting British rail bunkers is, let's say questionable, nor for that matter do we have any guarantees that Ware-based quartet SHE are young of years, but nevertheless, on listening to their debut EP 'Sheezus' (spotted the not-so-subtle Kanye reference? Yep, thought so) it really doesn't require a great leap of imagination to cast them as the wide-eyed protagonists in the above portrait. "Play like nobody's watching; play like the whole world's watching" seems to be their mantra over nine frantic minutes split into three invigorating segments.

Bookending the EP are 'Father Knows Best' and 'Criticism'. The former is an archetypal helping of vintage post-punk; a twister of fuzz envelopes a surf guitar riff as the bass and drums launch into a loggerheads game of full-on one-upmanship that permeates right through the trio of tracks on the record - whilst even those of us with the faultiest grasp of pigeon French will be familiar with the chorus instruction to "ferme la bouche". On the latter the drums tumble into the action at the outset, before a driving bassline counterattacks immediately, and it's this ongoing interaction that provides the canvas for the track, allowing the guitar lead to break out his wah-wah and distortion pedals and scribble freehand intermittently over the piece.

Best of the bunch though is middle offering ‘Kevin’ (named after our Sound Of Confusion head honcho? Probably not) and it’s here that all the elements synchronize to best effect, channelling a groove that pushes SHE into the dance-rock crossover territory presently left vacant by the demise of The Music, a prolonged absence from The Longcut, and the apparent disappearance of the once promising Fonetiks. If SHE can again tap into this collective connection of skills on future recordings then they really do sound capable of producing something hugely exciting. Keeps your ears tuned on this lot readers, we think it could be worth your while.

SHE's website

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