They say looks can be deceiving and that’s certainly the case for El-Thule’s ‘No Guts, No Glory’ opus. When this little beauty dropped through my letterbox, the moment I laid eyes on the inlay, it had me convinced it was an all out, groove riddled Stoner release as the clichéd hotrod, chicks & psychedelic elements are all present and correct but once you give the disc a spin and the 1st track ‘Swing on This’ blasts out of your speakers, you’ll be in for one hell of a surprise!!
So what exactly do El-Thule offers us? Well I guess the biggest comparison I can make are to the Hellacopters, as they certainly know how to rip through the tracks with the 1st part of the CD flying by in the blink of a eye with their high energy Stoner inspired bluesy rock ‘n’ roll. That said there a long way off being a clone of said band as there’s certainly a healthy dose of influences from the likes of Kyuss, Fu Manchu, Nebula et al with their heavy groove laden fuzzed out riffs, raw vocals, wah wah solo’s and pummelling drum beats which best comes to light on ‘Sombrero Galaxy’ and the final track ‘Barely Drunken’. But throughout the CD there’s a definite punky feel to proceedings, when I say punk though, I don’t mean by the likes of The Exploited, Conflict, Crass (although it wouldn’t surprise me if this lot listens to the likes of them), more in the vein of MC5, The Stooges & The Ramones, I’d even go as far as saying there’s even a sprinkling of The Misfits present which is probably at it’s most obvious with the ‘Whoo’ style backing vocals on ‘Fire & Skull Breath’.
To sum up, this is an all round excellent release, out of the 11 tracks there isn’t a poor one amongst them and although it wasn’t exactly what I expected, it didn’t disappoint in the slightest as every track was delivered with ruthless flare & passion. El-Thule’s ‘No Guts, No Glory’ comes highly recommended, especially to those that wanna try something a little bit different to the clichéd stoner sound.
Label: Le Parc Music / Self Released
Scribed by: Lee Edwards