Ireland's No Spill Blood have finally arrived with their debut full-length Heavy Electricity and guitarless stoner/indie/post-punk/experimental/genre/subgenre/etc trio does not disappoint.
No Spill Blood formed in a few years back as a quasi-super group of the scene. They feature members of Elk, Magic Pockets, and Adebisi Shank. Not one of these bands would I call metal, but their combined forces turn them to the darkside.
If Death From Above 1979 were heavily influenced by Torche or Kylesa then run through a 70's-80's post-punk filter, they'd sound a lot like No Spill Blood. The two bands are a lot alike actually. Much like 1979, this trio lacks a guitarist, and the six-stringed metal mainstay is not missed. No Spill Blood also creates heavy, energetic music that is, at it's core, very catchy. "Harsh Route," for example, has the most memorable synth lead on the record that will keep the listener coming back for another fix. However, the song explodes into a section that I'd liken to a more chaotic keyboard driven Red Fang.
Heavy Electricity is a start-to-finish assault of synth-laden fuzz that still manages to be full of dynamics. "Back To Earth" has bassist/vocalist Matt Hedigan up front hypnotizing the listener with a a galloping Maiden-esque rhythm as the keys gentle sit in the back and provide an atmospheric backdrop. "Thinner," on the other hand, has Hedigan and synthman Ruadhan O'Meara dueling for the role of lead instrument as they create a song that invokes the spirit of bands like Pinkish Black, Genghis Tron, Horse The Band or even some of the spacey moments of Between The Buried and Me.
Everything the band is about since their debut EP Street Meat has been pushed to new levels. The bass is fuzzier, the synths are more epic, and the drum work even stands out this time. Prior to his departure to be quirky in projects that aren't No Spill Blood or his other former band Adebisi Shank, Lar Kaye rounded out this trio for this recording. Kaye is an excellent guitarist in his other projects, but Street Meat's drumming was certainly just a foundation for Hedigan and OMeara to shine over. Heavy Electricity really has Kaye out doing himself with proggier rhythms, cooler fills and overall refusing to stay in the backgroung. Ror Conaty is now on the throne and from the live reviews I've read, he's no slouch himself.
I'm admittedly a bit jaded to some the thriving parts of the metal scene, and that is what makes No Spill Blood so refreshing and amazing. Yes, there are parts that remind me of other bands, but the whole of the band is unlike anything I hear anywhere else. This is a fantastic album, but it's made better by the fact that they so unique.
I really hope this is the album that puts this band on the map. They have a lot of crossover appeal and could very well tour with any stoner tour, progressive bill, festival lineup, or even with some of your more abstract mainstream rock acts. Hell, they opened for Deafheaven in Belfast last year and apparently stole the show.
Heavy Electricity drops March 10th via Sargent House Records.