Life can sometimes throw up some weird coincidences. Ever noticed that? Anyway, this for me was one. There I was, having a look through some old Organs, when I noticed a review of Earthtone9. Theyre from Nottingham, and Id missed it. Sitting on the doorstep, and I was blind to it. We all make these mistakes. The Organ was quite old, so I thought thered be no chance of getting a demo to hear. And then, about a week later, a tape plopped through the door, though it was a very nice plop. And when I looked, it was an advance tape of the Earthtone9 album. Which was a nice coincidence I thought. Theyd stumbled on a YAZ, and as a result, I was rewarded with this little beauty. See, doing a zine pays off. Big time in this instance. And for some of you, cos the band were kind enough to give some sampler tapes to give away with the last YAZ.
And what was even nicer were the sounds that emerged from the hi-fi when I inserted the tape. Ah, nice. A more hardcore Tool is how Im currently thinking of it. Hardcore in that there are a bunch of shouted vocals. Theres a touch of the Will Haven there. But to be honest, this album truly comes into its own when they are replaced by the more melodic aspects. Its like the sort of thing that would make say Soulfly interesting instead of the boring one-dimension that it is. And its why Ill be reaching for this a damn sight more often than Soulfly.
The music here, is wonderful. Just put on the dream that is Ever You Say. Adventurous, grooves along, heavy, melodic. Exciting. Its only fault is it ends too soon. And thats for a 7 minute song. Really, there are times when I get carried away on that Toollike ride. And thats always a good thing. Theres your reference point. Dont cling to it, use it. Actually, fuck it. If like me youre still waiting for the new Tool, go and grab this. Its not a substitute, its from that lineage. If youre mindset is in that particular field of music, then youre going to enjoy this one.
The album opens up with the brooding Withered moving from a slow intro, to the full blooded Will Haven onslaught, but its the track 2:00:00 which for my mind starts to showcase the true talent on show here. Things get slowed down, the music starts to hypnotise and youre drawn in. When you eventually resurface, you get the time to think, WHO IS THIS. Its that little something you need to seperate the play it once from the Wheres that bloody E9 tape. That point which standsout in the mind. 3rd Ripple In continues the adventure, a sparse arrangement that is so effective before the frantic climax complete with the sound of the microphone being hurled to the floor.
Now most will not remember them, but there was a band called Mind Over Four back at the turn of the decade who released some great albums, and Cracked Hand, Dry Face sees Karls vocals take on the same tone as Spike Xavier. It highlights the versatility. Youve gone from the guttural roar, to the soaring heights, and the plaintive cry of Jesus Forgive Me. The title tracks, sees that vocal switch again. I complained in the past that Will Haven should mix it up more. If they did, maybe theyd be as good as this.
Really, I mean this year has been such a revelation for UK music as far as Im concerned. Milque, Noisegate, Medulla Nocte, Monkey Boy, Pulkas, Sack Trick, BlowHoly, Consumed and more. Now add the name Earthone9. Whatever your particular posion, theres something out there that is as good as anything thrown at us from the States. And as the States is throwing some pretty good stuff over here, then thats good news for live music. The one thing that is now required, is peoples support.
Ive yet to see them live, but the next time theyre around that will be rememdied. Who knows, maybe an interview could be done. Prepare yourselves.
Dont make the mistake I did and miss out on these. Its time to climb aboard now. Theyve won me anyway. As long as they can do it live. An album that if YAZ has a albums of the year feature this year, is likely to feature very highly.
Available now on Copro Records. Come on, the UK is fighting back. Its all square now.
You can here some of the tracks on the bands website at http://freespace.virgin.net/in.tone
Earthtone9 13 Beech Avenue, New Basford, Nottingham, NG7 7LJ.