Friday, 16 November 2018

REVIEW: Tuskar, "The Tide, Beneath, The Wall" EP

By Andrew Field

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 07/12/2018
Label: Riff Rock Records

“The Tide, Beneath, The Wall” is likely to be one of the best EPs you’ll hear in 2018. Immerse yourself in it. It’s quite a ride.

“The Tide, Beneath, The Wall” CD//DD track listing:

1). The Tide
2). Beneath
3). The Wall

The Review:

I’m going to make a grand statement here, but one which will be backed up by anyone who’s caught these boys performing in dark and dingy venues over the last two years: Tuskar are the most exciting live band in the UK right now. On stage they are breathtakingly incendiary:  an aural hurricane demolishing everything in sight. After a typical half hour set you look around the venue to see Tuskar fans giving each other that knowing look, whilst newbies are busy pulling their jaws off the floor.

Most exceptional live bands fail to capture the visceral energy of their shows when they get in the studio. That’s not the case here. Tuskar’s molten riff workouts, so immaculately captured by Sam Thredder at the Slabdragger guitarist’s Cro’s Nest Studio, are voluptuous in their groove and tone. “The Tide, Beneath, The Wall” is a quite exceptional piece of work.

Whilst you can hear reflections of Conan, Mastodon, BongCauldron and others in Tuskar’s sonic melange they are subsumed deep within the duo’s own electrifying musical howl. Underpinning everything is Tyler Hodges’ undulating drums: always groove-fuelled, often polyrhythmic, youthfully powerful. Rhythmically, moments of full-on head-nodding swagger flow effortlessly into fast passages packed full of time changes or snare rolls. He hits his crash cymbals then grasps them, playing on and off the bell of his ride cymbal, creating milliseconds of sonic wonder which you look forward to each and every time he does it. And Hodges does this whilst delivering Jon Davis-like monotone vocal bellows and wails which perfectly fit the music brewing underneath them him.

Tom Dimmock, like Hodges only in his early 20s, is already a tone monster. Nowhere is this more apparent then on closing track “The Wall”, which opens with huge slow swathes of distortion and gain-soaked guitar, becoming more and more widescreen as the track builds through its eight-minute duration. His psychedelic, echo-drenched solo towards the end of the track is a veritable masterclass in subtle, understated, less-is-more beauty.

There is a noticeable maturity in these three tracks. If last year’s debut EP “Arianrhod” was full of youthful vim and vehemence, “The Tide, Beneath, The Wall” shows what a difference 12 months can make. Tuskar have moved forward, as writers and musicians. They’ll doubtless be off to tour the fuck out of this release, honing their craft even further. Thus, I’m salivating at the thought of how good their debut full-length album is going to be when they get around to making it.

In the meantime, “The Tide, Beneath, The Wall” is likely to be one of the best EPs you’ll hear in 2018. Immerse yourself in it. It’s quite a ride.

“The Tide, Beneath, The Wall” is available HERE

Band info: bandcamp || facebook