A three piece of guitar, bass and drums comes powering out of the traps here. It’s a fizzy capture, washes of cymbals and some heavy riffing on guitar creating a robust, muscular backdrop for some vocals with attitude.
Occupying the ground between Julian Cope during his Fried period and then the snarl and belligerent punky attitude of John Lydon, the lead vocal punches hard on the track Someone You Know. It then wanders into something more wistful and lyrically more exploratory on Waste of Time. There’s an ever-present natural vibrato when the vocal is more relaxed. But melodically, the vocals are making some very deliberate dissonant choices which reek of swagger and confidence and an overall looseness to proceedings which is genuinely original in the current climate.
Someone You Know also boasts interesting rhythm and arrangement choices. ‘Your expectations are too much,’ posits the singer. But they are actually served pretty well, thanks, with some smart arrangement chops which retain the interest well. These include a wandering exploratory guitar solo part and, in particular, a proper diversion into new territory just before the track’s conclusion, when a bridge part suddenly offers a sonic treat before resolving beautifully into a meaty post-chorus riff and the song abruptly concludes.
Waste of Time is more of a workout dynamically, with some questing guitar riffs adding a mystical air to the mix and the vocal gets to explore more tones, at times coming across like Gary Numan in terms of word-chewing delivery.
‘Waves crashing over waves,’ gets repeated in an intense repeating pattern in an exciting bridge part which again makes a welcome impression just before the song’s conclusion. It’s exciting and unexpected and really delivers.
A shot in the arm lyrically and in terms of attitude and energy, Microcosm’s EP is a breath of fresh air.