Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ep Review- Tongue 'Who Fired The Workers Of Happiness Factory?'

One of the marvelous things about writing Born Again Nihilist is getting to hear bands that are sometimes from a little  beyond the pale, and outside of the usual notable music scene hot-spots , like London or LA(ok, more like Savannah or Belfast in our case), and of  Tongue, a power trio that play an inspired fusion of filthy garage grooves, desert rock licks and pop-metal ,this is particularly true .Hailing from Belgrade, Serbia, a city not known for being a hotbed of stoner rock talent, the band admitted in a recent interview with the excellent Sludgelord (read it here: , that they don't receive a huge amount of support from either the local media or have much of a fan-base in their hometown.A shame, as in these 3 tracks , the band showcase a hell of  a lot of promise, and no small degree of talent.

'Who Fired The Workers of Happiness Factory'  is an odd beast , perhaps owing to the band's geographical circumstances, but more likely in my mind a product of a diverse range of influences.So for example, in opener 'Happiness Factory' , one can pinpoint a love of Swedish garage rock gunslingers The Hellacopters ,but also the dense melodic rumble of Torche, and even  a little bit of Beach Boys style vocal harmony shenanigans , albeit more downbeat than that those comparisons might suggest.Make no mistake, though we might be cruising the desert, it's a lonely one, and a sort of desolate , paranoid atmosphere prevails.The band have spoken about their frustration at their city's perceived lack of interest, and it's reflected on this EP by a sense of intensity and aggression, albeit restrained,  that one doesn't find in say, a Truckfighters track.

It's an approach that doesn't always work though, and on second track 'Spark Of Light' , it has to be said Biza's vocals grate a little, the constant use of layering and echo putting us almost in Kaiser Chiefs territory, it's rescued though  by a bobbing , catchy bassline and a gorgeous guitar sound that is constant throughout the three tracks. Closer 'Leaving All Behind' ends things on a high note, an elephantine rock and roll groove riding us out into the sunset with aplomb, with the best riff  The Wildhearts never wrote left ringing in our ears. It's the best thing on here, the band focusing on being catchy rather than clever, to devastating effect.

Overall, 'WFTWOHF' is an enjoyable listen,with a deft and clear production to boot , but perhaps a little too indicative just yet of a band still finding their feet songwriting wise.Give em some time though, and we may yet be seeing Serbia become the new Sky Valley . . . .

For fans of : Torche, The Hellacopters, Truckfighters, The Wildhearts, Brains
Listen here:

Stephen O ' Connor

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