There’s a lot crammed into a four track EP by Lamp here – influences of freeform jazz, polyrhythms, detuned guitars, crisp, powerful drumming, atonal chord progressions and some good guitar work. Plus the detuned guitars mean you rarely notice the lack of a bass player.

The first track ‘Trails And Adders’ opens with some Mr. Bungle styled barely restrained chaos, question and answer phrases on the guitars and some warbling clean vocals that immediately made me think of The Grand Silent System (if you haven’t heard of them – Google ’em). It’s funny – you can immediately guess their rough influences, but the more you listen the more you ponder their main ones… Zappa? Rush? Tool?

For me the standout track is track two – ‘Blades & Ladders’. The disjointed, jerky carnival guitar riffs alongside some nice vocal work and tight staccato drumming make this track. They certainly seem to have a handle on chunky atonal riffage here.

The last two tracks ‘365 Knuckles’ and ‘Alter For Allen’ sort of fly past you a little, the jerky carnivale atmosphere continuing to the end. On the whole this release is mixed and performed well, with good drumming and some nice guitar ‘noodling’… Perhaps a different style of track at the end to show their greater variety would have helped the release as a whole?

Having said that though this EP has served its purpose – new tracks for those that love the band, and an excellent taster for those that don’t. I’m not quite sure I’d say ‘I love lamp’… but I’d sure go see them live if I’m ever in Ireland.

Available now through Bandcamp.

Posted by Nick Dodds.

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