Written by: The Administrator
We slumbering scribes have got a certain respect for bands that release new stuff at the end o' the year. 'Tis the time when people are reflecting on the past 12 months and, generally speaking, taking a break from checking out fresh tunage. Releases dropped 'round the holidays tend to go undeservedly unnoticed.
In any case, this sense of devil-may-care stoicism translates well in the case of Glasgow's own Bacchus Baracus. Their latest 4-track EP is appropriately entitled Living Through Amplification, and if you're in the moods for gruff grooves, raucous riffs, and generally fun times, you're in the right corner of the world. Pour a drink, put up your feet, and stay a while.
In sum, Bacchus Baracus aren't shy about loudly announcing their presence. Big groovy head-bopping meathook riffs are the undisputed name of the game--a strength accentuated by earwormy opener "Creepy Fingers." There's a delightful bounce here that practically demands a slow headbang or generous tap o' the foot. That said, Bacchus Baracus' melodic underpinnings are also pretty damn potent. The chorus feels wonderfully timeless--it's chantable, recitable, and feels like something that would absolutely slay in a live environment. "Creepy Fingers" is a clear highlight in my book, but followup "Minataur" is a killer track as well. Here, they slow it down marginally, turning the dial away from "energetic romp" and further towards the "moody" end of the sludge spectrum.
The gruff vocals may be a sticking point for some listeners, but I personally fall squarely on the side of loving 'em. There's a gritty whiskey-soaked quality on display--this gritty tone is, one can only imagine, the product of a set of pipes that have been dragged unceremoniously across miles of gravel. From a sonic standpoint, everything clicks.
Critically, the last track does falter a tad when compared to the one-two punch of Side A. That's not to say it isn't a good song--far from it. However, after being warmed up with some top-tier riff-slangin,' the slow and deliberately doomy pace of "Never The Less" feels a little anticlimactic given its location in the track order. All told, however, this fun lil' EP is a clear step forward for Bacchus Baracus, both from a songwriting and vocal perspective. Should they continue on this trajectory, we're gonna see some seriously massive tunage from this crew. In the meantime, Living Through Amplification is certainly worth yer while.
Bacchus Baracus - Living Through Amplification was released Dec. 24th, 2020. Find it here!
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We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!