EP Review: Oliver Mavilio (self titled).

Ahhhh for that violence of mess and mean heat that shone through one pure streak of post punk. That Birthday Party, Lydia Lunch and X raw-meat raucous, the wire-thin guitar scrapes and pre-primal drums, those vocals that growled through a glass-blasted larynx… It still captures us four decades later.  

That the music still stands and attracts music makers is testament to those early blood-letters. That Oliver Mavilio has picked up those tastes (flirtations with red leather bible redemption, old-time western gothica, black poise and punk), speaks to his lust for that anger. He expects those comparisons, or at least surely must, but there’s guts in his curdle of songcraft.

In a debut EP that stands eight minutes long, every song cracks its whip at two minutes. That’s enough time to show off the want and the love to pick up on those grind-horror blueprints. Public hangings, dear departed, tombstone wails, they’re all there. And so is the tough blast of hard jarring rhythms, gutter-clad vocals and misery. If no other credit was due – and it is – it’s a kick just to hear it all new.

Sinner’s a fast asymmetrical jab of ugliness, tight feel and grievance. ‘Rise Up‘ is an ink slick of rhinestone red wine, ‘Outlaw‘ is gunslinger terror. ‘My Love‘ is the closer, the Brothers Grimm western, then it’s over, it’s done with, it’s finished. Those 8 minutes flashed by without pause, without breath, and there’s no way this couldn’t be written.

Is this the first blast of a character in making? A one-off as a violent vent outlet? The press release was surprisingly thin in its detail, but maybe we don’t need much more. As a piece on its own it’s a sumptuous EP, building up expectations for meaner. It’s made all the more notable by Mavilio riding solo, every instrument self-played and layered.