London-based rock quartet, The Tricks, have recently published their debut album ‘Safari Inn’. The long time friends and brothers Joel and Ash Hodge (Bass/Vox and Drums respectively) relocated from humble Hertfordshire to loud London to further their band and exposure. After gaining attention from two EPs and extensive touring, the group have established a core of fans.
This double A Side came out on the 14th July as a promotional support to the debut ‘Safari Inn’. The tracks come from a three year recording session, obviously not in one whole sweep, taking place in London and Los Angeles. The group dynamics have a mixture of British humility, American punk influence, and their own little touch, or so I have gathered from this release. A slight warning, the band are definitely not my thing, so I’ll try and remain as positive as possible but criticism where it is due.
Commencing with ‘On Trial’, the track starts with a squealing train guitar before the drums start to fade in. The solo drawl that brings the song to fruition later is joined with the rest of the band on the chorus sections. With a touch of The Killers, the chorus goes from duelling guitars to a spacious choir of pad synths and tremolo strummed guitar. The mix is generally wishy-washy and layered with dull uninteresting reverbs, which is a shame, because it makes the song a lot more lethargic than it would if it was in a live surrounding. Considering recording sessions occurred over a three-year period, you would hope for carefully selected elements. The compression makes it also quite fatiguing and nothing quite stands out except the vocals that are a bit abrasive at times. Lyrically it is sort of banal, but then maybe it is the hard time I’m having deciphering some of it because at times it is clear and then it is muddy in the mix, all the while littered with an odd harshness. Generally the song is quite pop orientated and would easily please fans of The Killers or Kings of Leon for example. The end of the song goes a little rock disco and the structure overall works quite well, if only it was a bit more intense and dynamic.
Gilgamesh takes inspiration from upon the Mesopotamian poem ‘The Epic of Gilgamesh’; intriguing adapting material with. Blasting it at full indie punk force, the song does as the lyrics command, they ‘chase the myth of Gilgamesh’. With the testosterone injection of American Pop Punk, the assault of catchy chanted lyrics, vocalising and Blur styled bass makes it a little unfiltered for radio, which would hopefully make it stand out. However, overall it does nothing to inspire or reach. Then again, was it even trying to do that? Not really, it is DIY British Rock at its simplest and that is what is maybe missing from the collective stream of House, Trap, Post Rock, Ambient, Glitch Hop, that is becoming more dominant on the radio.
As tracks from a debut, it is a little immature, a wee unkempt around the edges, and somewhat copycat in taste, yet it delivers no more than it promises and in that regard it is a good choice of single, but if you’re wanting a true revelation in British Rock then the quest is ever open.