With the record industry seemingly heading into an uncertain tailspin and labels nowadays offering very little incentive for bands to sign to them, it is becoming increasingly the case that bands are taking back the power and doing it for themselves. The huge availability of online sales outlets and the relatively cheap cost of CD production means that bands are now able, more than ever before, to take control of their product and produce quality packages to rival most label releases. Tricorn are just one of the many bands taking the bull by the horns, sticking their finger up at “the man” and putting their balls firmly on the line.
Hailing from the UK’s south coast, a place where old people mostly go to die, Tricorn are scaring the grannies with their belligerent mixture of Orange Goblin style stoner rock, trad metal and grunge and it has to be said they present a pretty impressive package. The first thing that hits about this album is that it is no burned CD-R with a photocopied insert, this is a fully professionally produced, glossy piece of high quality product that would sit happily in HMV’s rapidly dwindling metal section alongside any major release. One look at the bands’ Myspace and web pages will also confirm that these guys are serious about their craft and not just a bunch of chancers hoping to score the odd decent support slot.
Musically Tricorn also deliver in spades. Granted there are a million bands also trotting out this style of metal around the world and it’s easy for a band to get lost but Tricorn display an edge and grip on song writing that could just about help them to poke their heads over the parapet and get noticed by the wider audience. “Give Me Some More” is a strong, stop start groover while “Crawl” revs up the Goblin boogie machine with a “see you at the finish line” speed rush. “Album closer “Momentum” on the other hand shows a more layered, textured side to the band that evoke the spirit of the NWOBHM with a side helping of Alice in Chains style angst. There is no doubt that these boys can play and know their way around the dynamics of a great rock song.
Although this is in many ways an impressive package and the band have clearly thrown a lot of cash at their presentation, I would have liked to have heard a little more time put into the production. Admittedly the drums and bass do kick it with sufficient weight, though the cymbals can, at times be more splashy than a water park in high summer. Also the 20 a day, whiskey soaked vocals sound nice and raw yet the whole effect is slightly neutered by a pretty weak guitar sound. Where you should be able to hear valves toasting to within an inch of their lives the guitars here sound a touch thin, feeble and dare I say it cheap and the leads often sound like an angry wasp in a jam jar which is a shame as a gutsier guitar sound would have lifted this above sounding like an excellent demo to a fully pro piece of output. It may seem a minor niggle but ultimately it’s the music that counts and that’s really where the money should be spent first and foremost.
For a first album this is, however, an impressive start and what it may lack in originality it makes up for in spirit, passion and talent. With so much stiff competition out there I hope that Tricorn can hitch up their britches and give themselves the push that they will need to lift themselves above the level of just another local band to get noticed. This is a very fine release but let’s hope the next one delivers the killer blow!!!
Label: Self Released
Scribed by: Ollie Stygall