Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Bottlecap - ST (album review)

We used to flick our beer bottlecaps between our thumbs and ring fingers, usually at each other, sometimes at inanimate objects.  Occasionally you'd hit something metallic and it would ricochet all over the place, bouncing from corner to corner, sometimes getting lodged between a wall and dresser, or bouncing from tree to tree in a last ditch blaze of unbridled freedom.  Bottlecap, the band, has this kind of energy, the energy of their namesake in flight, an unconventional projectile, but sharp enough to sting when it hits.

The Gothenburg, Sweden trio make their intentions known right off the bat with a snarling intro to opening track "Set Me On Fire".  A funky riff with vocals that fly upwards into falsetto during the verse then slam down with a scorched growl for the chorus.  "Wretches" blasts and pulses at almost seizure-inducing tempo. This is the song the band has chosen to shoot a promo vid for (see below), it's the distillation of the band's purpose and their most frenzied success.  "Wretches"' enthusiastic performance creates an energetic buzz and is the perfect showcase of what the band is all about.

Bottlecap capitalizes on the follow-up "Shake My Hand" keeping the funk groove on high heat.  Syncopated beats with cowbell and tambourine appear from out of the 70s like some long-haired, denim-jacketed, and mutton-chopped ghost slowly fading into view in a cloud of smoke, a ghost which hangs around for the hard rocking "Hang On".

There's simply no shortage of riot-starters on this album.  "The Torch" melts the pavement with a low end bass groove that is positively terrorizing in its buzzing tone and sex-maniac groove.  Rapid hi-hat tapping and heavy breathing complete the picture.  "Side Story" stomps, pounds and wails, putting on a 3 minute rock & roll clinic.

"Red Cucumber" is a builder that features not just multiple tempo changes, but multiple time period changes as well.  One of the most important inventions in human history will be the time machine, if it ever comes to be.  I submit, after hearing this song, that the time machine will not merely look like but will in fact be a red cucumber.  This song proves it.  We start in the 60s, fly through the 70s, passing Dr. Who along the way to wind up on a whirlwind tour of the 80s and 90s via fiercesome drumming and the tour itself leaves us dumped on our collective listener asses right back here in our own time.  If that doesn't get your organ grinding, nothing will.

"Soma" has a definite air of Joy Division about it, with the unmistakable interplay of and treatment as lead of the rhythm section.  That bass tone.  What if Peter Hook had joined Foreigner or Harlequin after Ian Curtis' death?  Take some "Soma" and find out.  The band gets one more bang at the post-Motorhead can with album closer "Up (From This Dying Sea)" on which is featured a very Lemmelian vocal melody and a strange deep saw-like vocal effect for the chorus.

The band clearly enjoy themselves and the music they have created on this disc, the performances are loaded with enthusiasm, with shouted yeahs, whoops and hollers and excited non-lingual harmonies.  The energy found herein is infectious.

Highlights include: "Wretches" and "Shake My Hand"

Rating: 4/5

1. Set Me On Fire (4:35)
2. Wretches (3:29)
3. Shake My Hand (3:38)
4. Hang On (3:04)
5. Carry Me All The Way (6:59)
6. The Torch (5:28)
7. Side Story (3:07)
8. Red Cucumber (5:46)
9. Soma (6:39)
10. Hang On, Mr. Porridge (0:46)
11. Up (From This Dying Sea) (3:10)
Total Run Time: 46:35

From: Gothenburg, Sweden

Genre: Rock, Post-Punk

Reminds me of: Molior SuperumMotorhead, Refused

Release Date: October 13, 2012

Bottlecap official website

Suggested listening activity for fellow non-stoners: Crash the best rock & roll parties of the last 50 years or so in a red cucumber.



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