Dark Stares

Opening with a rather addictive baseline and understated vocals. Throw in some fuzzed up guitar, nothing being pushed at you with anger, just a gentle groove that hooks you in and washes over you.

Welcome to “Soul Contract”, the latest EP by Dark Stares from St. Albans. Following up their Octopon EP back in 2012. As “Liquid Reign” finishes, the tempo ups along with the amount of “fuzz” for “Hypnotize”. With an increase in what I can only describe as power, the track packs more punch, yet somehow remains refrained.

‘Ordinary Way’ shows off the guitar work impeccably, playing off the rhythm and helping to cement their sound. Things take on a more powerful stance as the guitars open up for ‘Animal, setting the the distortion to the max; whilst being offset with a smoother, almost liquid sound.

The boys have been busy honing their sound and skills, and it is easy to see that their hard work is paying off. Their sound has tightened up, and whilst a natural progression on from “Octopon”, and whilst there is much similarity between the two EPs you can hear the growth and progression.

Dark Stares

If I had to criticise the only comment is that the vocals just seem a little too far in the background, and could do with being a little more up front. But this may be more production than anything else. Aside from this, “Soul Contract” hits the “dark groove” sweet spot rather nicely. Stripping it all back it is fundamentally laid-back; with a dark groove that they have then built the more powerful sound on, with the distorted guitars and solid drum work. The heavier rhythms perhaps hint at a more old school Rock, whilst Miles’s vocals keep everything in check. While the rhythms are solid and consistent without a fault, they have managed to balance originality with an easily accessible sound.

“Soul Contract” is due for release on Monday 6th April.

Line Up
Miles Kristian Howell – Vocals/Guitar
Taylor Howell – Drums
Harry Collins – Lead Guitar
Brett Harland Howell – Bass

Track Listing
Liquid Reign
Ordinary Way
Cruise Control
Blood Magic (digital version only)


Words by Jon.

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