It’s always good when hardcore bands keep their rage simmering just under the surface rather than allowing it to control the music. Southampton’s Kerouac do just that on their debut EP, “Cold And Distant, Not Loving”, with superb results. Reading like a psychological report of the band’s music “Cold And Distant, Not Loving” could not be a more apt title.
The nearly entirely instrumental opening of ‘Heavy Hearted’ builds slowly from a heavy southern-sounding plod into a fast-paced two-step, and then drops back to its plod before vocalist Thom Denson screams the line ‘All of our failures bleed into one, as all our successes come undone’ as if he knows all about it. There is a slight sense of madness bubbling under the surface throughout this record. For example the guitar parts on ‘Little Mountains We Move’ progress as you might expect, but every now and then they veer a little off course, but in a structured manner. There is nothing sloppy at all about Kerouac, everything is just as the band intended it to sound. The rage and aggression are evident, but it’s mastered and controlled to create truly awesome pieces of music.
There can be no question that Kerouac do heavy very well; the guitars shred, the drums thump and crash, and the bass pulses. ‘Our Father’s Guns’ is a furious melee of sound that rages and swirls, soaked in Denson’s trademark impassioned vocals. Vocally, comparisons range from Sam Carter (Architects) to Winston McCall (Parkway Drive). Musically, the band are much harder to pigeonhole, there is a little of Norma Jean to their sound, but as a whole it’s more impressive. There’s no real standard out track on “Cold And Distant, Not Loving”, because it gives off the feeling that it was designed to be listened to in full. Final track ‘A Sheep.A Well’ provides the perfect close to the EP. It is full of bile and aggression, lashing out like a beast on it’s last legs, before conceding defeat and descending into it’s inner madness.
“Cold And Distant, Not Loving” deserves your attention. Each of it’s seven tracks is carefully placed for maximum impact, and will undoubtedly be well suited to the vinyl it’s being released on. Kerouac should be proud of this release, and with the backing of Tangled Talk and Holy Roar, should be looking forward to what’s to come.
'Cold And Distant, Not Loving' by Kerouac is re-released by Tangled Talk/Holy Roar on 13th December on limited edition 10” vinyl.
Kerouac on MySpace and Facebook.