New-ish Oxfordshire trio Molly Karloff released their debut EP, ‘Dancing for Money’, a couple of years back and here’s their follow-up, ‘Supernaturalation’, offering up another five tracks. Their debut passed me by, so this is my first taster, and it’s not at all what I expected. Something horror-themed is what I anticipated; evidently based on the band’s moniker. Whether or not it was lifted from the stage name of one William Henry Pratt, you see the name Karloff anywhere and it immediately evokes expectations of horror, such was his affiliation with the genre; much in the same way that Carradine, Lugosi, Cushing, Lee, or Price are also synonymous with the cinematic macabre. Press blurb doesn’t particularly help, either, with talk of alt-rock and grunge. While mild flavours of both are discernible within the songs, this trio’s music is more of a groove-heavy rock/metal fusion, with the chunky riff-heavy resonance and forceful sticksmanship of a metal band, and the instantly accessible hooks and vocal lines of a hard rock act, complete with refined Ian Astbury styled histrionics.
The band have a full, resonant sound for just a three-piece, although this is with the advantage of studio comforts, of course. That said, I’m presuming Simon Guillard hasn’t tracked multiple guitar parts, as his solos (which, by the way, are warmly wah-infused bliss) are performed over just bass and drums; he’s not doubled up on rhythm guitar. Respect to the guy, as all too many bands track extra instruments/parts in the studio that they then can’t emulate live. It’s something I was always well aware of within bands where I’ve been the sole guitarist - primarily because, without the added layer of rhythm guitar, it forces you to be more inventive with your solos; to fill out the sound with something a little more creative. Guillard epitomises this ethos.
There’s such an infectious energy conveyed through Molly Karloff’s songs that, if they can kick out this kind of sound and vitality in a live setting, then they’re evidently a must-see act and will be turning heads wherever they play. If they can maintain this level of quality, there’s a very bright future ahead for the band, methinks.
Review by Mark Holmes
6th March 2020
2) She Said
3) Do You Wanna?
4) Do It Again
5) The Other Side
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...a groove-heavy rock/metal fusion, with the chunky riff-heavy resonance and forceful sticksmanship of a metal band, and the instantly accessible hooks and vocal lines of a hard rock act..."