Fresh from supporting Haven on their toilet venue tour, the Porthcawl four-piece release their four-track album taster promo CD.
The Toploader-style guitar, piano and synth intro of opening track ‘Mr Bishi’ sound slightly ominous for me, the Mower-style vocoder adding to my initial horror. However, the track explodes into a likeable strum-along, faintly reminiscent of the early Oasis/Stereophonics, in their ‘What’s the Story?’/‘Word Gets Around’ glory days. The haunting vocal chant ‘I don’t want to live’ towards the climax superglues itself to ones head, leading me to think this will end up one of their live favourites. It bodes well for the second track, the whining, hippyish folk of ‘In Flight Manual’. Immensely irritating, with added clashing cymbals and tambourine, one can’t help but wonder where the crew from before have gone.
Fast forward to track three, ‘Pollen Fever’ with melancholy RHCP guitar and piano influences. Anthony Kiedis (ok let me keep dreaming) even makes an appearance on lead vocals, along with Sting on guitar! This dream combination carries on via a soaring chorus into an excellent RHCP Californication album-filler pastiche. The final track, ‘Black and Gray’, a slow-burning jazz funk, is the song to show what Tetra Splendour are best at. Melancholy, big-band-esque plaintive vocals, with those, yes THOSE superfluous harmonies and jazz influences. Very good indeed, is the impression I get from the guys who seem to do very good impressions of everybody else, yet haven’t revealed their distinctive sound on their album taster. I’m definitely looking forward to hearing the album, for it may ring truer to their art form, the challenging live show, where they rocked.
7Sajini Wijetilleka's Score