EP review: BLACK TREE VULTURES – Sanity Isn’t Perfect

Straight outta Bournemouth (with an attitude which says “f**k you, Compton !”) come spunky pistols Black Tree Vultures with their manic and muscly debut EP, Sanity Isn’t Perfect. Tipping the hat to several heavy rock protagonists and oozing piss-and-vinegar confidence, this is metal from lads who know their influences like an old slipper, wearing them loud and proud but leaving space for their own creativity.

BTV’s intentions are immediately laid bare on opener “Overrule Me” which is one of those “show-us-what-you-can-do” tracks for a newly formed band. Getting together only four short months ago in September 2017, these guys have immediately established a musical kinship cemented in the thudding, thumping rhythm section of metronomic maniac Jonno Smyth on tubs and Conor Stace on bass, providing the perfect platform for stringsmith extraordinaire, Aaron Hammersley on guitar and the rich, throaty roar of Celyn Beynon on vocals.

Check out “Holly Vultures Daydream” with a riff as bad-ass as it is uncluttered and (Velvet Revolver’s) Slither-like refrain, a raging slab of rock with the whole band sounding like they’re viagra’d up and marauding the corridors at the Four Floors of Whores. Well meaty.

“Doom of Malakai” may sound like the sub-title to the next Indiana Jones movie but damn if it doesn’t take a (sweet ?) leaf out of the Tony Iommi Book of Left-Handed Riffology – gloriously gloomy.

There is a bold, defiant energy to this band channeled aggressively, yet skillfully, to produce a virgin release of real quality. With tracks like “My Filthy Redhead”, undoubtedly a song about somebody somewhere (you know who you are), Black Tree Vultures showcase these excellent, co-written originals like old heads on young shoulders – they know what they’re doing and that is modern, meaningful metal.

“Thanks For The Memories” flies out the traps like a greyhound with a firecracker up its arse. A sneering and contemptuous juggernaut of a cut which rips and shreds like a tornado through town.

This debut EP from Black Tree Vultures puts a gritty stake in the ground atop which flies a bullet-hole ridden flag with the inscription “New Wave of Bournemouth Heavy Vulture-Metal” – mighty stuff.  ****

Review by Mark “Mad Dog” Shaw


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