Two piece band King Canute have issued a debut EP (Cutting Teeth) – a collection of tracks recorded over the space of a year by two like minded musical dropouts (Johnny Lett – vocals & bass & Chris Woollams drums & vocals) in a shed in Brighton. It was produced by Paul Frost (Guitarist with Zico Chain.)
‘Again’ (Feat. Jamie Lenman) is bass-buzzy little treat, with a heaving riff that the blades into your skull like an ice pick. The vocals are grand and almost disdainful – the chorus swings back-and-forth like a bar-room door.
And after the final “Again… and again…” a huge group of short melodic phrases threaten to suffocate the listener like a blanket of bees. This is a particularly exciting scurry, and a great start to the disc.
‘The Whole Damn World’ also starts like a scouring out of your cranium. The pace is rocky – the percussion acts as an anchor point for the low beats – as they start fraying around the listeners head. The melody of this piece is reliable , flexible and familiar.
Then ‘Live Like We’re Dead’ strikes a pose as it enters the room. This song is much more unhinged – you can almost taste the stain of tears. The low grizzled bass probes constantly – while the griping vocal smudges and spreads over the song like oil-soaked parchment
‘UltraViolet’ is our favourite track on the EP. On this number King Canute sound like ‘Cradle of Filth’ …but held captive in a cage and forced to play an old ‘Ultravox’ number. It has that same anguished inventiveness one might associate with both bands. The silken solitude, the dark ingenuity and even the same morose, rueful theatricals. The bass reverberates heavily – like a wing flapping bat – and the strobing words slip out to you leave you feeling so utterly isolated. So alone. This song has all the creeping cunning of a corrupt maggot – rushing to get at your meat … to feast upon your essence.
‘Necessary Evil’ twists and turns like a mad dervish – it’s a song of wild fury and blinding ire. But suddenly, the ferocity turns into a celebration – and it becomes a cheery song full of of “La La” handclaps and fresh glam punkiness. Without a doubt, this song will be a crowd favourite at live shows, but it pales against the other heavier and darker pieces in this collection.
– © Neil_Mach February 2014 –