Ubiquity Project 2015
Twisting their mojo, Oxford duo deliver on the vampire promise that’s been sharpening its bite for years.
“Variety” can mean either all things diverse or a multi-faceted show, and conceptualizing either requires some effort – but not for this band. An almost two-year gap between their debut EP and its full-length expansion produced an anticipation of top-notch entertainment to be served, and “Circle” doesn’t disappoint. More so, Nigel Firth and Hatty Taylor injected a powerful dose of humor in what they do, which may not be obvious from the opening throb of “This Is Normal” that hangs on twangy heaviness, yet by the time the blues “I Know His Blood” fizzles out, the hellish depth of it is completely bared for absolution.
Subtlety is the name of the game here, as “Wintertime” flows glacially until Firth’s crystal guitar flicks a quote from a certain Gershwin tune, so coldness doesn’t belong here. That’s why the sentiment of “Feeling Good” throws its jagged riff onto the velvet-lined vaudeville scene to set the predatory mood, and the same solid logic is applied to the FX-flaunting “A Happy Car Is A Stolen Car” where a sense of freedom takes an unexpected turn. So there’s no turning back, long before the space jive of “Long Way Down” finds Taylor going into turbo vibrato.
Still, it’s all intimate rather than cinematic, save perhaps for the instrumental interlude in the heart of “A Wheel Within A Wheel” and “Pale Horse Rider” where delicacy meets rumble. “Hammer And A Nail,” though, mixes the burlesque elements the best and strips the duo’s soul most daringly, and a bit creepy, once the ’60s-styled organ parp floats to the surface if only to fathom the ravine to be looked into in the finale. Normal, then? Indeed, as the circle so full cannot be unbroken.