Dark Stares are a 4 piece hard rock band from St Albans who enjoy dirty riffs and big grooves. Octopon marks the 2nd release from the band and it’s a wonderfully accessible and catchy EP that isn’t afraid to get its rocks off.
The EP begins with the huge stomp of Bad Machine. The guitar work by Miles Howell and Harry Collins is wonderfully quirky yet heavy and is reminiscent of Rated R-era Queens of the Stone Age. Howell also takes the reigns on vocal duty and does a brilliant job of creating fantastic melodies and delivering them with a smooth, almost sultry croon that also makes me think this man has a thing for Mr. Josh Homme.
Octopon is in no rush to blast the listener with high-speed tempos and an over-abundance of technicality. This is a straight-forward, rock record that finds its comfort zone and sticks with it. This does mean that the formula of fat guitar grooves and catchy vocal melodies is rarely messed with, but it does mean that over the four tracks available you get a solid, well rounded experience.
The whole thing is also presented with a wonderful production job which makes every chord sound enormous, every bass-beat as chunky as possible and the drum work sound like it was being performed by a body builder. There’s a lovely little megaphone tinge to Howell’s vocals which also adds some texture to his performance.
Dark Stares’ Octopon is an EP that doesn’t diverge from its path and delivers a robust, hard rocking set of songs. You may well have the band sussed by the end of the first song, but thankfully Octopon is loaded with more than just one great rock tune. You can forgive a band for being formulaic when their music is a monolithic as this.
Dark Stares’ Octopon is available to buy from iTunes now.