The Statement by The Narrators (EP)

20 December, 2012 in Music Reviews

The Narrators

Newcastle natives The Narrators make an artform out of dissonance, with their combination of smokey vocals and bristling blues rock

The Statementometimes promise is more exciting than certainty, potential more interesting than experience and creation more engaging than finality. Do you remember those days when you would sit in the corners of a dank practice room, surrounded by empty beer bottles as the atmosphere became turgid with a blanket of cigarette smoke? These were hours when your band was graduating from its awkward beginnings towards a future augmented by personal reward, a step into the known unknown. This is the moment at which we find The Narrators.

Having experienced a series of line-up changes they now have a settled personnel, with the band now comprising vocalist Katy Trigger, guitarist Tim Bloomer, organist Dominic Snaith and drummer Robbie Houston. From this line-up has been born their debut EP The Statement. And what might what their ‘statement’ be, you ask? Glorious, ebullient blues-rock, is the answer.

“Trigger’s vocals soar like icy breath on a winter’s day”

As with The Narrators’ friends The Blind Dead McJones Band, the complexion of this blues rock marries the filthy lustre of The Doors and hedonistic abandon of Led Zeppelin, with the Hammond organ highlighting the influence of Jim Morrison and his cohorts. Where the bands differ, though, is in their vocal attack. The Blind Dead McJones Band adoptsan approach akin to a pint glass in motion. But with The Narrators, Katy Trigger’s vocals soar like icy breath on a winter’s day.

This, when combined with the band’s fiery blues-rock, affords a wonderfully dissonant quality to their music, giving them a sound of honey-coated granite. The EP’s standout tracks are Five Changes and Voodoo Child, both of which were recorded live at the Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival.

Not everything works on The Statement, which you would expect from a band that’s just settled upon its composite elements. But it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you can hear in their music the potential to be something very interesting and that’s what draws you in: the uncertainty of hope and the venture into the unknown.

Verdict: A granite-and-honey blues-rock explosion

Damien Girling