Thursday 7 August 2014

Ten Foot Beast - S/T (Album Review)

Ten Foot Beast cover art

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 14th July 2014
Label: Spora Recordz

Ten Foot Beast – S/T - track listing:

1.I 01:42
2.II 04:43
3.III 06:45
4.IV 05:21
5.V 06:16

Band Members

Jason Erwin-Guitars and Bass
Adam Locklear-Drums


Ten Foot Beast do not have a singer (being in an instrumental band myself this record appealed to me, it's always cool to see how other bands pull it off). I noticed on their Bandcamp profile they were putting feelers out for a singer who could “compliment their sound”. After listening to the EP I could imagine vocals adding something, I just hope they don't employ a screaming maniac who doesn't allow the music to breath.

First thing I noticed: Ten Food Beast have numbered all their tracks using Roman Numerals. Something that has been done by plenty of bands in the past but let's not get caught up in silly little details, I'm here to tell you what this record sounds like and give you my (not so) expert opinion.

A 5 track, self titled EP that begins with 1 minuet and 42 seconds of what I would describe as survival horror soundtrack ambience. The samples rear their creepy little heads throughout the duration of the sonic journey, adding a spooky undertone and creating a flow that links each track. I quite like this sort of thing and is seems to work well.

As soon as the first (proper) tune comes in, with noises dragged through from the intro, you hear the stoner-rock influence. A muted chug that builds, adding layers of delayed guitar strikes that come in from different angles. I got the feeling that Ten Foot Beast don't just listen to Stoner-Rock/Metal, there are obvious influences from bands like Russian Circles and maybe a hint of (not so low tuned) Omega Massif. There is a strong pace and some excellent riffs, backed by alternating guitar parts and sparse lead breaks that are set back in the mix. So far so good.

Track three doesn't mess about, a very short feedback squeal and we're off. At least for a few seconds until the song breaks down in to another atmospheric section...then back to the heavy. There's good use of dynamics and the quality of playing is plain to see, I just wanted more variation.

So, next tune....slightly heavier again. A driving riff that, again, reminded me of various other bands. There are changes; an unusual jazzed out part and some clever use of guitar noises. The crescendo is a half timed beast, slow and powerful. Probably the most enjoyable track so far. (there is a cello in the mix but I didn't pick it out until the second listen).

EP finisher (V) continues the dark Post-Rock theme, starting with delayed plucking and a waterphone adding an extra layer. Again, it's a sound that's been used before but they do it well. The entire song is like an uphill climb, a build that comes to fruition at the 4:11 mark. The outro is another stop start affair that fizzles out in to fading feedback.

Ten Foot Beast are a good band. They are good musicians and they've obviously spent time putting this EP together. I just can't get away from the feeling that they've remained in the safety zone, not stepping outside of a well worn stoner/post-rock path. Don't get me wrong, it's good just needs to be more of their own. I'm looking forward to what comes next and will be keeping an eye on these guys. I bet they slay it live!

Reviewer: Keeran Williams

Thanks to Spora Recordz for sending ourselves a promo to review.