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The Hidden Venture

Emerging from the dissolution of local collective A Planet In Space, The Hidden Venture shed their genre-hopping ways and complexities to emerge a leaner, taut rock beast - as such, they're a band that are hard to predict.

 

So it proves with their first proper EP. The opening track They Put A Price On Everything would lead you to believe that they wade through a murky hybrid of frenetic blues and ragged rock, but then the muscular riff that opens From The Drip Into My Arm warps their sound into something more inclined to classic rock, be that a groove equally beholden to Hendrix or Tom Morello. It's this back-to-basics passion that fuels the group's raw feats.

 

As Certified Diamond slithers out of its chugging intro into its brooding verse of clipped guitars, you almost expect Mike Patton to emerge with his trademark lothario-growl. It's a delightful surprise then, that the ears are greeted instead with the smoky croon of Dan Fox. As capable of soulful falsetto as he is hell-bent wailing, his powerful vocal guides the track towards its propellant climax; backed by the punchy rhythm section of bassist/vocalist Alex Hayes and drummer Ben Thomas.

 

Rise Again is a more straightforward rock track, which is to say that it mines its Faith No More guitar layering for all its worth and with all the force of a charging bull. The two cuts that follow present their inspiration with more transparency, Give It To Me and Worlds Collide, aren't so much coloured by QOTSA-inspired riffage as they are positively indebted to it. But it's as good a recreation of California desert jamming as one could hope to get, replete with low-slung stoner rock bass and wiry guitar noodling. You can almost feel the sweat splashing about as this four-piece lash their instruments into submission.

 

The final coda is actually a brief but interesting instrumental, though it could be taken as a musical afterthought, it actually signals at the more atmospheric material the band are no doubt capable of

 

As an introduction to the group, a live recording better captures the brawny energy that The Hidden Venture spark than a studio recording could. The rough edges merely add to the impression that this ct is well-honed in spirit, not spit and polish - their grungy, psych-rock is all the better for it.

 

Best Track: Certified Diamond

 

If You Like These, You'll Like This : Angel Dust FAITH NO MORE, Songs For The Dead QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE

 

In A Word : Gritty.

 

 

AL NEWSTEAD