Deerstalker – Wendigo (Self Published; 2012)
By Matthew Law:
For some reason the latest post-grunge resurgence is not happening in Seattle, but in Belfast. Most people have grown pretty sick of bands since the mid-nineties trying to join the genre simply by ripping off Layne Staley”s voice, or Mike McCready”s guitar work. So it is always refreshing to see some originality from a band inspired by these artists, but not trying to be them. Enter Deerstalker.
Deerstalker are a Belfast-based three-piece who have been on the music scene proper for about a year, and they have built a remarkable following in such a short period.
This EP, which they have released admirably as a ‘name your price’ collection, has a lot of potential, and listeners will get a clear view of the sound that this band could be treating us all to on an album-to-album basis in a few more years. It has a nice undertone of the classic grunge music of Nirvana”s “Bleach”, but with a guitar sound which seems strongly inspired by the desert rock songs of Kyuss.
“The Theatre” and “Want you to Know This” are the stand out tracks on the EP. This is mainly due to their consistent rhythm and more mature structure, pokies online as opposed to the other two tracks which have too many different riffs and contrasting sections within them (a franticness which is quite similar to Soundgarden”s early recordings that was corrected over time – when they ‘found their sound’, if you will).
The drum work by Matthew Fitch is the standout feature of this record. It is quite similar to the drumming that Matt Cameron perfected: it is high speed, but not irritating or incomprehensively hectic.
Overall, it is a strong record with some marvelous songs and memorable sections, but to truly enjoy these guys, and the songs on the EP, I would recommend seeing them live as their performances are strong and promising. This is a great start from Deerstalker. It packs a punch, and with the right production team behind them, they could go far.