The Savage Nomads - Tension in the Middle [EP]
If, like me, when you think of white boys rapping and spoken word confessionals, it's either the top-notch stylings of The Streets and Mike Skinner's cuttingly colloquial cockney whit, or the soul- crushingly abysmal (I'm talking Robbie Williams' 'Rude Box'), then The Savage Nomads provide an enjoyable shock to the system. These south-London lads are much more likely to resonate with the masses with the emotionally raw, conversational vocals displayed on upcoming EP, Tension in the Middle, than have anyone shaking their 'rudebox'. It can only be a blessing.
The distinct layering of instrumentation and vocals on this EP challenges all expectations, and makes for a brief, yet eclectic and turbulent listening experience, within which one is able to get whole-heartedly lost. With the use of a diverse range of instruments, including appearances from the less –than-expected trumpet, and the usual guitar, bass and drums combination, The Savage Nomads produce snippets of melodious musical genius, only furthered by the starkness of their lyricism and honest voice of lead singer, Cole Salewicz. The antithesis of angry lyricism with twee guitar riffs and jazzy trumpet creates a sense of the sinister in 'Four Personalities', making its lyrics "I got four personalities looking back at me" all the more poignant; it's as if the very musical structure of the track represents the 'battered brain' on which the song is centred.
Opening track, 'Tension in the Middle', displays the band's trademark stratum of vocals, creating a sense of the complex and diverse emotions the EP appears to be based on. While this and 'Four Personalities' exude angst-ridden frustration built on an underlying melodic bass,' An Empty Seat' provides a jovial, Friendly Fires meets The Maccabees end note. To round off, Salewicz gives us a flash of his choral talents by jumping from hard-hitting colloquialisms to a tuneful croon, made all the more emphatic by high-pitched backing vocals.
If eclecticism of style, a plethora of passion and just a hint of English honesty is what you're seeking, then Tension in the Middle will you suit you down to the ground. If commonplace, sing along indie-pop with little depth or dimension is your thing, then The Savage Nomads aren't for you. Their characteristic coupling of intense and frank philosophies with diverse instrumentation could be considered ground-breaking, but their unique monologic approach may make this EP an acquired taste.