Brilliant five tracker from Northampton mob

There’s loads of ways to start out as a band. You can lock yourself up in the studio and hone your craft. You can record everything you have, or you can go out and play, and learn as you go.

Forming four years ago and about to release their first EP, Northamptonshire hard rockers Stonepit Drive have evidently decided that the last option is the one they should take. They’ve release a couple of singles previously – both of which appear here – but this is their debut body of work.

And my, its one they can be exceptionally proud of.

“Dystopia” kicks itself off with one of these aforementioned singles, “Blue Flame” and those who think modern rock n roll can’t do hooks and chorus had best look here, it’s a three minute study in the subject.

And to be fair, everything else here isn’t too shabby either. “Full Throttle” is just that (although to be fair, if you call a song “Full Throttle” then it’s not going to be apologetic is it?) Instead, this comes out swinging and just about stops itself before it does serious damage.

“Rise Of The Bull” by way of contrast, is rather more introspective and a real slow burner, an ambitious piece of work, not too dissimilar to that which the likes of Resin are trying elsewhere in the East Midlands. It also almost suckers you into thinking it’s an epic, despite only being four an a half minutes long.

This is a trick also rather admirably pulled off by the closing “Vive Sine Timore” – which means “live without fear” for those who don’t know Latin (or can’t work Google) – a brilliant song with the heaviest riff here, some swaggering bass lines, harsh backing vocals, and the attitude of a band that knows they’ve got a knockout song in the bag.

To be fair “Dystopia” is full of them. The set completed with the unapologetic “Suffocate” , which has half an eye on the alt rock market. A crunching, mighty work it thinks like a stadium rocker on the budget of a DIY band.

“Dystopia” is an EP by a band for whom all that hard work is paying off. 2016 could be their year for a breakthrough.

Rating 9/10

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