Review by Paul Monkhouse for MPM
Whilst the giants of rock may be roaming the arenas and stadiums of the globe, a new breed of future superstars lie in wait, ready to grab their chances with eager hands.
It may be because social media gives us so much more access to the world these days, but it seems that there’s currently an explosion of talent not seen since the heady days of the late 70’s and early 80’s as thousands of people discover the power of the electric guitar after years consigned to a dance dominated wilderness.
Amongst the leading lights of this resurgence, Manchester upstarts Square Wild have been causing some tsunami sized waves with their twisty mix of rock, funk, jazz and prog, holding all within hearing distance under their spell.
Led by the incandescent Lucy Shevchuk, the quartet have seemingly captured lightning in a bottle, turning the energy and fascination of their live shows into this three track EP, keeping it sparking but with a layer of sophisticated polish.
The opening guitar attack of Jack Vallance on ‘Hounds’ soon gives way to shimmering vocals, drawing you into a darkly seductive and edgy world, the whole balanced with a big and ballsy force that’s fragmented and full of a natural fire.
Tomos Cooper’s drums and the bass of Robert Palmer Fenney crackle, a sizzle adding to the groove as the song reaches its shuddering climax with a soulful solo that could have been hewn from the late 70’s.
Fishman’ comes on like a flood, brooding and heavy, the funk neck deep as the rhythm section take things slow and hard as the guitar is set to stun. Upping the blues, Shevchuk wails over the whole as a welter of volcanic coals rain down, digging deep into the very soul of the song and breaking barriers between what’s real and what’s not.
Whilst these two opening tracks may be mightily impressive, it’s when they pull out all the stops for the closing ‘Mother’ that Square Wild are at their peak. Starting with a beautifully dreamlike intro that warms like the July sun on your face, it morphs into a heavy-duty workout that seethes with barely controlled energy and prog rock power.
The whole effect is extraordinary and one of mind melting possibilities as they take you on a journey full of old souls in young bodies, their craft seemingly honed over decades, rather than a scant couple of years.
Are they the saviours of rock ‘n’ roll? Probably not singlehandedly, but when joined with the growing number of incendiary new acts out there you’ve got to have hope.
Square Wild aren’t interested in reinventing the wheel, they’re just determined to do things their own, inventively evolving way and this release is just a taster of the promised greatness yet to come.
The Tree-P is available to stream and purchase NOW via Bandcamp:https://squarewild.bandcamp.com/releases