Things start off slowly on Bodach’s debut EP, The Flickering Wick. The creeping cadence of the echoey Gregorian vocals, the droning keys and guitar, and the sparse but impactful drum beat all come together on the darkly atmospheric opener, ‘Every Age Divides’. However, it’s not long until the Rotherham-based duo, consisting of Laurie Allport on vocals and guitar, and Tom Jones playing drums, discharge their fuzzy blend of grunge, sludge and hard-rock on ‘Philip, My Father’.
Having been recorded live over the course of one day, with echoey vocal overdubs and dark synth layers applied later, the duo have captured a coarseness and an energy on their six-track EP that otherwise may have been missed. There’s a particular drive to the slew of fuzzy riffs doled out by Allport’s bass-heavy guitar, and steady drumming from Jones keeps all in check. The likes of ‘Laika’ and snappy lead single ‘The Shunt’ definitely benefit from the addition of psychedelic synths and keyboards respectively, while the crooning, 80s post-punk drawl of the vocals provide memorable and obliging hooks to the four main tracks.
Rounding off this entertaining fifteen-minute EP are the two parts of the title track. The crackling flame (or flickering wick) and ethereal voice-overs of ‘The Flickering Wick, Part I’ serve well as a mood-setting segue to ‘…Part II’, the lively, stop-start style of the EP’s closing track. These final moments, together with the stark cover artwork, exemplify the curious but effective mix of dark and fun, of moody and catchy, that Bodach exhibit on The Flickering Wick, all making for an admirable debut effort.
The Flickering Wick is out now and can be purchased here.
Words: John Higham