Kobadelta are a band we have covered very favourably before. Their brooding, blues-laden brand of psychedelica really pricked our ears twice in 2013, with two single and b-sides impressing and receiving very positive reviews from Reviewcaster. After wrapping our ears around debut EP The Hidden Door this week, I think it’s safe to say our excitement has not dwindled, and that this Newcastle five-piece are one of the most promising bands to be making noises around the north east right now.
The Hidden Door is as brooding as both of the singles we’ve covered previously, with opening track Supernatural Cause sounding menacing from the outset. A threatening bassline governs the whole arrangement throughout, with urgency not taking a place at the forefront of the Kobadelta ethos until a frenzied outro. Cymbals crash and guitars bruise before a sense of foreboding is resumed once more.
The EP undoubtedly shows a much broader range of strings to the Kobadelta bow than the previously released singles. The blueprint remains the same, but the resourceful applications of instruments and pace result in a more dynamic arrangement rich in fretful textures. The Electric Chair bears hallmarks not too dissimilar to the desert rock cult of the nineties, equipped with subtle, sunbaked guitar tones, crushing bass driven riffs and unanticipated changes in pace. An acoustic guitar is the perfect foil for a frank, assured vocal in Not Above and Not Behind, before synths impose rather than shimmer in the title track. Closing track Love Stoned Chic is the most blatant exhibition of bravado, with a huge, distorted bassline strutting amidst a littering of guitar notes.
Kobadelta are an intriguing prospect as much as an exciting one. Their brooding brand of psychedelica is refined by a perceptive use of the tools in their remit, and the Michael Stipe-esque vocals are the perfect garnish to the murkily textured sound. The Kobadelta melting pot plays host to a huge swath of influences, ranging from the Black Rebel Motorcycle Clubs to The Doors, with glimmers of optimism bipolarized by malignant onslaughts that impress upon a listener a menacing sense of foreboding. The band have already shared the stage with some of the most exciting finds of the past year or so (Temples and Splashh to name but a few), and continue to make all the right noises. The Hidden Door is a fine debut EP, hypnotising and pounding simultaneously. A very compelling arrangement.
You can listen to and buy The Hidden Door at Kobadelta’s Bandcamp page here!