Monday, 16 January 2017

REVIEW: 1968 - "Fortuna Havana" (EP)


By: Dominic Walsh

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 10/2/2017
Label: Black Bow Records



1968 wear their influences on their sleeve. There are plenty of bands that stalk the planet playing classic/hard rock; the trick is to make it your own and not become a cliché. 1968 walk the line well and come out with originality whilst using their influences to great effect.


“Fortuna Havana” DD track listing:

1). Vorpal
2). War Dogs
3). Duchess
4). Fortuna Havana

The Review:

Cheshire based 1968 have only been together a short three years. Having released a self-titled EP in 2015, they now return with a second EP before the release of their debut album later in the year. Having been added to the impressive roster at Black Bow Recordings, “Fortuna Havana is a more than solid addition to the bands discography.

Throughout the four tracks on “Fortuna Havana, any questions about the name of the band are answered. Homage to Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Mountain and Black Sabbath is duly paid, but there are plenty of nods to the more stoner alumni such as Sleep, as well as hard rocking blues legend Rory Gallagher.

“Vorpal” opens up the EP in towering fashion. The band fly out of the traps with mountains of stoner groove and swagger before building towards some superb solo work to finish off the track. “War Dogs” immediately starts as the opener end and the band veer down a doomier path before exploding in a fury of Thin Lizzy like dual guitars.

The second half of the EP uses the already utilised formula, but “Duchess” really sees the band step up their game. A rolling bass introduction leads to a torrential storm of fuzzy riffs that are held together with terrific drumming. The vocals sneer throughout the track before it shifts towards a highly psychedelic cacophony.  This is the absolute high point of the release and one where the band take their influences and really make the sound their own. The psychedelia continues in the opening of title track to close out the EP. If “Duchess” is the undoubted highpoint of the EP, then the title track is undoubtedly the heaviest piece here. Fuzz riffs and pounding drums drive the track, to bring the EP home.

1968 wear their influences on their sleeve. There are plenty of bands that stalk the planet playing classic/hard rock; the trick is to make it your own and not become a cliché. 1968 walk the line well and come out with originality whilst using their influences to great effect. There is cause to be excited about their forthcoming album which will be produced by Conan’s Chris Fielding at Sky Hammer Studios. Fielding is also at the controls for this release, and makes the band sound immense.

“Fortuna Havanawill be available here

Band info: Facebook || bandcamp

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