As raucous as Raconteurs, as brooding as Mary Chain, and as gnarly as The Amazons too. With all this flying by in just over three minutes, ‘Caramel’ is tough slice of cool. That’s an impressive dexterity of freakout and play, and it sends this band straight to the watch list. Rarely does a single get a thumbs up so quick that I’m snagged with a cramp in my wrist.
The verses are spartan and wiry, with the lean hardened drums and tough vocal plate reverb that made J&MC’s ‘Automatic’. These all sit between bridges and pre-chorus build-ups that lurch into AOR rawk. And when we get to the ending, anthemic and rough, with the type of blast kept by for 80s glam guilt, it’s unexpectedly mean, fast and thrilling. One moment we’re knee deep in retro-gloom indie, in the next we throw hair back in denims… and left wondering just how we got there. There’s even a hint of a Marty McFly solo that shamefully fades out too soon.
And what should be the worn tropes of drugged rock and roll (class As and apathy, backseat romances, addictions, destructive temptations), even these comes out grounded and wry. There’s enough careful detail and nose-to-ground dirt to kick overused tricks to curb.
The last band that got me with big guilt-free riffs was the painfully under-known Meansteed. The Dead Night, just like them, use that glam-power glut wisely, and channel it pure in into ‘Caramel’.