Photo Credit: John Middleham
Evil Blizzard are the epitome of a marmite band. Their fans love to hate them and the band seem indifferent in return, like reticent siblings who secretly adore each other. Others are 100% certain of their disdain, of what surely must be the best band to ever come out of Preston. Low bar I know, with only trumpeter Eddie Calvert of note according to Wikipedia. It’s been said previously that their albums aren’t released, they escape! Ex-Sounds journalist Mick Middles absolutely hates them (genuinely).
Rotting In The Belly Of The Whale is their first studio album for 5 years and it’s been well worth the wait. This is the perfect soundtrack to end a shitty year, with their blend of Sabbath/PiL/Killing Joke/Hawkwind sludge rock.
It kicks off with the dark and brooding All Pigs With Snouts In The Trough, possibly a reference to the self-serving politicians of the day. You can imagine a procession of torch bearing misfits descending on the Houses of Parliament, chanting the refrain, “All Pigs….” The last 90 second instrumental passage evokes the feeling that the mob reach their destination and eviscerate the intended targets. You can almost smell the two-stroke smoke from the chainsaws.
Now, with their close links to West Yorkshire’s Embrace (both Richard McNamara and Steve Firth get name checked in the credits), I can’t help but think that All You Bad, Bad People is a tongue in cheek nod to their 1997 debut single All You Good Good People, in an attempt to thank their indifferent fanbase, wrapped up in a bass heavy psych groove, nearly too viscous to flow, rubbing shoulders with Joy Division’s New Dawn Fades.
Professional Driver sounds like it fell out of John Lydon’s playbook, when PiL were recording their recent End Of World album.
Tiny People is a ferocious 60 second Hawkwind punk rock out, which is sadly over before starts. Love to have heard it develop over a longer period of time.
Clouds Like Ghosts ventures into Cure territory, sprawling as it does over its 7 and a half minutes. There’s a noticeable increase in the amount of guitar on this album compared to previous releases. The production is fantastic on this, more layered without being overdone. Some of these tracks would not be out of place at Download Festival.
Lullaby certainly isn’t going to send you off to sleep, unless you’re Chucky!
Title track Rotting In The Belly Of The Whale is a glam rock punk stomper and a surefire future live favourite, Sweet meets Black Sabbath.
Darkness seduces you with its sub-Faith No More – We Care A Lot, vibe, threatening to end mid-track before developing into something samba-esque, prog-rock Santana, returning with a part riff stolen from Rocket From The Crypt and then pure wig-out territory. Swans please take note.
The closing track The Buried Believers sounds like they’ve abducted Killing Joke and are wearing their skin, before forcing Richard Butler to sing slowly at gunpoint.
What I’m trying to say, is that this is pretty much impossible to categorize, unless of course mesmerising is a genre! It’s truly a work of great depth, that will leave its faithful fanbase in denial and new comers reaching for their back catalogue. Mick Middles was unavailable for comment!
Rotting In The Belly Of The Whale is out on Cracked Ankles on 3rd November.
Order directly from their Bandcamp page and while you’re there treat yourselves to some of their back catalogue.
All Pigs With Snouts In The Trough
All You Bad, Bad People
Clouds Like Ghosts
Rotting In The Belly Of The Beast
The Buried Believers