Songwriter/musician Andrew Norquay had recently taken three years away from music due to commitments as a commercial diver, however the creative roar within him erupted, steering him into finding a new explosive energy and expansive adventure for his alternative rock sound.
Drawing on inspirations which include the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Muse, Radiohead, and Oasis, Aberdeenshire hailing Andrew has breached new imagination and inventive tenacity in the songs bred since his return to the music scene.
Lyrically, they explore and challenge personal and social issues within a landscape of growling riffs and fiery melodies. It makes for propositions which leave a lingering impact on thought and any appetite for evocatively rousing rock ‘n’ roll.
The first result of his new burst of inspiration is the ‘Vices EP’, which was released the end of November 2016. Consisting of five heart bred tracks as infectiously anthemic as they are emotionally open and boldly fertile, the EP is a galvanic realisation of Andrew’s step forward in craft and invention from previous releases.
The Black Dog starts off the EP with a thunder of guitars and a crash of drums. The bass line is crisp and precise over which the fuzz from the guitar adds a great contrast. The vocals have a great tone adding to the overall effect of the track, which has is slightly melancholic. It reminded me of the vocal styling of Colin Vearncombe (Black) with a slightly staccato feel.
By contrast Slaves has a blues / country vibe. The vocals are verdant with a swath of attitude and as the guitars build combining with the throbbing drums this track shows its power. This is a track that will get your head nodding along and shows a different side to Norquay.
Animal features snarling guitars that sneer throughout the track, building into a mass of sound from which the drums emerge, triumphant. The bass line is deep and fuzzy which is perfect for this dark track. The depth of the track is underwritten by the lyrics which are about keeping the monster within at bay by medication but knowing it is dying to break out.
Devils Touch has a more indie vibe and is much softer. The melodies from the guitar, drums and vocals wind and weave their story, interacting with each other and then moving on their own separate path. There is a great lifting riff, driving the atmosphere home. This is a multi layered and textured track that I really enjoyed.
Warefare offers another side of Norquay which has a rhythm to get your head nodding along. Becoming fractured and playing with your ears, using multiply layers of lyrics and instrumentation on top of each other builds up the tension, demonstrated by the vocals. The richness of the “This is Warefare” is intense and fits the track well.
Vices EP has something which should hold appeal for everyone, moving from rock to indie and showing a softer side. It uses an array of techniques but there is also great guitar work in action.
Thanks to @plugginbaby (plugginbaby.com) for the opportinity to review.