Sunday, 9 April 2017

EP: Gnarkats! - Waves Collide

Gnarkats Waves Collide
Photo Credit - Rebekah McBride

Info: Belfast fuzz-rock quartet Gnarkats! released their debut EP, Waves Collide, in December of last year with the recording taking place in Millbank Studios, Lisburn with the help of Michael Mormecha who also provided additional instrumentation on the extended play.

There is a lot to like and enjoy on Gnarkats! debut EP, a gentle opening to 'Running From You' is quickly betrayed by the distorted hum of electric guitar sustain in the background at the 10 second mark. Gnarkat! get down to business with a cross-over between lo-fi and classic rock sounds, with, dare I say it, a dash of 70's glam swagger.

'Can You Feel It?' is our first introduction to their math rock leanings, plonking guitar and vibrant bass-lines combine to give a sense of merriment, with Caolán McCauley's vocals (who at times has a wee hint of the Tim Wheeler's about him!) bringing that feeling full circle. Even if Gnarkats! were in their late-50's, these tracks with still feel youthful.

The EP's title-track has a more indie-rock hue to it, it's first minute or so is geometrically structured before the four-piece firmly dig into their preferred more complex math rock off-beat style. A break-down at the 3:20 mark gives nice pause, and just as with the start of 'Running From You', you know what is coming, a full hard-rock blow-out, oh to see this in a live setting, the lead guitar and drums are delightfully unclean and forceful.

Final track 'Sorry' completes the spread, notice how the band have allowed their sound to flourish across quite different styles over the course of the EP. It's one of those tracks that is worthy of its 7 plus minutes. A contemplative opening makes way for a quite chilled out rhythmic progression, at the same time guitars and percussion assert themselves periodically with a crunch as required, providing us with the most experimental of the four tracks. We get a lengthy distorted and loud, but not too manic, send off from Gnarkats! to wrap up proceedings. It's been quite a lovely experience from a clearly thought-provoking act who are firmly making themselves part of the growing independent Belfast music establishment.

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