Despite hailing from London (a small town not far from Basingstoke) and having been around since 2014, I must admit to having never heard of The Miser before. Still, it’s always hard to resist an EP and the press promise of ‘analog-soaked tunes’ by a band ‘famously described as Trouble partying with Budgie and Atomic Rooster’ was enough to pique my interest.
So: The Miser are a four piece with at least one album and one previous EP under their belts and are planning to release this four-track EP one track per month to keep us all entertained during lockdown. Hopefully it will get some sort of physical release after that, because it’s pretty darn good. I tend to find that band descriptions that only refer to the 70s aren’t particularly helpful, and it’s clear that The Miser have listened to plenty of more modern takes on heavy rock. For comparison, at points they really remind me of early Grifter but with an added smattering of NWOBHM.
The first thing that strikes you on listening is that the production on this EP is spot on. All analogue and organic sounding as promised, but heavy and landing on the right side of muddy: the guitar has just enough bite to cut through and the bass provides a solid anchor for the tunes. Also worth noting that vocalist Crocker has a decent voice; he can carry a tune but has enough grit to not make everything sound too polite.
All analogue and organic sounding as promised, but heavy and landing on the right side of muddy…
They kick things off with lead single What A Pity, which is flat out excellent. Centred around a heavied up 70s boogie-rock riff of which Scissorfight would be proud, it swaggers into a chorus you’ll be singing for the next few days. Perfect music for chugging a few beers to. Nawks Of War ups the tempo and brings a bit of a NWOBHM flavour to proceedings. It’s a decent track with a cool guitar solo. The final two tracks Judgement Day and Numb would have sat comfortably on Grifter’s The Simplicity of the Riff is Key EP with their chunky stoner riffing and melodic choruses.
While The Miser are hardly pushing creative boundaries, quality rock’n’roll never wears out its welcome. This self-titled EP clocks in at a short and sweet four songs in a touch under twenty minutes and serves to whet your appetite for (hopefully) more quality rock to come from these guys. What A Pity really stands out, but the rest of the record is solid and enjoyable as well and well-worth a listen.
Scribed by: Liam Blanc