There’s a trap laid out for new artists. In the process of working to establish themselves with their own identity and sound, they’ll often fall into the following the tracks of their idols. Inspiration is a balancing act: follow too closely and you’ll come across as a shoddy knock off; too different and you’ll miss your target audience entirely.
As Blackpool alt-rockers Jekyll demonstrate beautifully on their latest EP ‘Wounds’, there is a middle ground. It is possible for artists to accurately do justice to their influences while carving their own identity into the face of Rock music. In the case of ‘Wounds’, this results in a brutal yet fragile storm of songs that channel Biffy Clyro as much as Muse.
While these comparisons might be fairly accurate though, they’ll never truly do justice to Jekyll’s doomed post-rock meets catastrophic shoegaze sound. EP opener ‘The Wounds We’ve Ignored’ sets the post-apocalyptic vibe with a brooding storm of haunting guitars and fierce drums, that at times feel just a few screams short of melodic metalcore yet too intense for shoegaze. It’s a strange balance that works wonders for the band in granting them a dramatic sense of tension. It’ll also give you a really weird grasp of your own mortality, but hey, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The bizarre atmosphere of tension is what unites the EP despite the transitioning shades of alt rock. The rolling rhythms of ‘Unspoken’ flow easily into the whirring climax of muscular powerhouse ‘Othello’. This is a release that makes it feel like everything around you is ending, the apocalypse dawning and time slipping away. But you’ll be okay with that, because you could do a lot worse than this being the last thing you hear.