When you think of Seattle bands, your thoughts might turn to the heyday of grunge, or acts as diverse as Death Cab For Cutie and Jimi Hendrix. Following in that great rock tradition are Mitch Luther and Jordy Jamison AKA Roman Citizen.
Seemingly eager to distance themselves from their Washingtonian predecessors, the duo decamped to Australia to record Blood On Tap. The EP is their second, following on from last year’s Indigo.
It’s typical to hear a band form this side of the Atlantic perform in a North American accent but it is unusual, and a little disconcerting, to hear the inverse. Mitch Luther’s vocals sound more Thames Estuary than Pacific North West.
Blood On Tap opens with the ethereal tones of ‘Northern Lights’ which has a very Scottish, shoegazey sound; more akin to Glasvegas than My Bloody Valentine. The heavily reverbed lyrics are nonetheless audible and together with ringing clean guitars make it sound like The Cure playing with Jesus And Mary Chain.
The prominent beats of ‘Complicated Lifestyles’ have an ‘80s pop feel, from when synths were uncomplicated.
The title track is a minimalist goth/ new romantic synth-lead number with a near monotonic vocal melody. It sounds like a Rihanna single that’s been accidently played at 33rpm, and isn’t a million miles away from Black’s ‘Wonderful Life‘.
But, juxtaposed with ‘Dangerous Nights’, ‘Blood On Tap’ sounds like thrash metal. The slow tempo and downbeat tone of the five tracks of Blood On Tap in succession becomes a hard slog. Individually the tracks are listenable and affecting but taken consecutively each is less interesting than the last.
This is one for people that take their music very seriously indeed, and should not be taken if prone to depression.
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