MAIR– Ear Ape Age
MAIR are one of Scotland’s best kept secrets. Five incredibly talented, driven musicians creating what they call ‘Groove Metal’ and never getting enough recognition for it.
I first saw MAIR live around 18 months ago and have seen them quite a few times since. They’re exceptional live and even when audience members haven’t been keen on their particular style of music, there has always been an air of respect and admiration for them so when I was sent their recent EP ‘Ear Ape Age’ for review, I was excited not only to hear it but to write about it and give them some kind of exposure.
Ear Ape Age is an EP filled with cut-throat lyrics, soaring guitar solos and bass lines that pretty much define ‘groove metal’. MAIR don’t do anything by halves and this EP proves as much. The only pitfall though, is vocalist Del Wilson’s efforts. Throughout the EP, his vocals swing between monotone and extraordinarily passionate. Especially on the first track, Harder, I felt let down by the vocals and while I do understand that this is just sometimes a vocalist’s style, the change in intensity on Paralysed suggests there’s not only more to Wilson’s vocals but that when he does use his voice to it’s full potential, it complements the sound so much more.
That personal nit-picking aside, Ear Ape Age is a fantastic EP. It is MAIR at their best, it’s ‘groovy’, it’s metal, it’s full-frontal and it’s definitely recommended by me. Production wise, it’s pretty brilliant for an unsigned band but it really doesn’t give them justice especially when compared to their live performances.
Ear Ape Age is available on iTunes, Spotify [see above for the enormous playlist box] and Amazon. Their next show is this Saturday at Pivo Pivo with Severenth, Dana O’Hara and D3vil May Cry. Event page here.
Semper Fi are another band I’ve seen quite a few times and enjoyed, despite feeling that sometimes the hi-hat is overused. It’s a personal gripe though and not a reflection on the band themselves. They’re a fun, lively band brimming with talent and seeing them live is always a pleasure.
They recently sent me a copy of their new self-titled album, an album that I feel got better and better as it went on. The final tracks, Exit Wounds, Diggin’ Yer Grave, Euphoric and University of the Dead are fantastic tracks, far more sombre than what I’m used to from Semper Fi but a musical direction I hope they continue to take.
The album seems to have a range of influences from Pearl Jam to Metallica, Semper Fi currently have three guitarists which means their sound is punchy with some incredible riffs but Semper Fi are incredibly melodic. They have created their own, unique sound which is the result of their combined tastes and styles while staying true to their original inspired roots. It’s no mean feat from an internationally best-selling act, never mind an unsigned act.