There is something of the night about Kobadelta, in the way that there is something of the night about The Amazing Snakeheads. The band’s songs are reminiscent of drunken late nights in back alleys where under the haze of darkness and incoherence, they stumble across liminal realities which the band crystallise through their music.
I first came across Kobadelta through their previous release, ‘Remain Distracted EP’. It was an instant hit with me, I loved the tightness of the performances and the fuzzy reverb contextualised into a coherent set of songs. The stand out track for me on the EP, ‘Repetition’ has made it onto one of my favourite playlists and is something I include in DJ sets at gigs.
The band’s third EP, ‘Open Visions’ is released on May 1st, and represents another step forward for this Newcastle Upon Tyne five-piece. Here the malice is just that bit more malicious, the threat is that bit more threatening, the darkness is that bit more desolate. Don Noble’s vocals are just that bit more of a siren call, dragging you into fuck knows what sort of trouble; Alex Malliris’s guitar that bit heavier and, weirdly, cleaner sounding yet more perplexing; Chris Malliris’s Drums and Jon Marley’s Bass are that little bit more intense and pounding; while Jordan Robson’s synths add that bit more atmosphere. Together they make for a sound that is full and more rounded yet the tracks feel more emotionally empty.
The Kobadelta sound continues to emerge with this EP, it is more nuanced than the band’s previous work. ‘Even The Odds’ explodes out of the blocks with a rampant riff and pummelling beat, it is a relatively up beat start, one that seems to belie to the darkness to come. This is soon evident with ‘Blame It On Me’ which is a hugely sinister track with heavy guitar and a very affecting vocal. When ‘Maskirovka’ begins if feels like a bit of a respite until the intense vocal kicks in and underlines the claustrophobia of the EP. This is music that is about the inner life, extrovert it ain’t.
‘Watch What You’re Doing’ is probably the most immediate track on the EP. It has a relative lightness and easiness to it. It is like a storm in the eye of a storm. It has it’s own aggression to it, and is probably the most accessible of all the tracks here. It showcases the band’s abilities as songwriters very well.
We’re back into the tumult again with ‘Ithaca’ which is a dark and brooding song which is played with great restraint allowing for more space for the song to breathe. This is continued into the final track ‘Black Pyramid’ which mixed fast and slow in a way that doesn’t feel clichéd.
One of the best things about music for me is when you can watch a band develop from release to release. Kobadelta are one such band who are definitely falling into that category for me. In ‘Open Visions’ the band has moved further into its own sound and is creating its own niché. I said in my last review of them that I was sure that they would break out of their native North East, nothing I’ve heard here makes me change my mind about that.
Kobadelta will be launching the EP at Think Tank in Newcastle on Friday 1st May with support from Coquin Migale, Sun Dance and Massa Confusa, and the CD is available to pre-order at http://www.kobadelta.bandcamp.com/
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