Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Bottle Of Evil - Inside Looking Out

Now for the very welcome return of the Scotsman Radar Prize 2011 Runners-Up, Messrs. Derek Bates and Steven McGilvary, or Bottle of Evil as I've come to know and love them.   That oh-so-close accolade couldn't have gone to a more deserving pair!  It's been over a year since the release of their eponymous debut album which completely took me by surprise, and hasn't been off my driving-music car-stick since.  That's staying power of Bryan Adams proportions!

Since then, Derek's moniker Evil Hand released the brilliant 'pseudo-retrospective' Huldra back in February, and I've just discovered (Bottle of) Steven's free Eventual Progress (e.p.) a few weeks ago, which he put out in September.   It seems that both can do no wrong!

Anyway, back to the present.  I've been sitting staring at a half-finished, garbled review of this EP for over a month now, so it's about bloody time for my finger to be well-and-truly gotten out!   Their latest joint-offering, the four-track EP Inside Looking Out, came out a month ago and as expected, it's a work of unashamed musical brilliance!  All of which begins with the mesmerising opener The Boatman.  It's four minutes of shoegazey perfection at it's blissful best.  Which probably makes no sense whatsoever, so you'll just have to have a listen for yourself!  


I Can See Your Face is no different. Quality-wise that is. Music-wise though, it's shows glimpses of a much darker, more sinister side, in amongst the delicate, swooning refrain.   Maybe that's their Evil streak poking through...


Gentle, dreamy melodies and soothing, breathy vocals is the order of the day for track three, the sublime Move On, which builds on just nicely from where their debut left off.


Then they go and take the lid off the bottle...  That dark side which was hinting at previously, is unleashed on the unsuspecting listener in the form of the chilling, prog-rocky Collider.  With a eerie Blue Oyster Cult inspired (well guys?) riff and vocal recordings which sound oddly reminiscent of old prohibition-era movies, it's yet another unexpected gem from Bottle of Evil. 


So to sum up, it's pretty brilliant, and as EPs go, I've not heard a better one all year.  So away with you now, and download it over here

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