Invasion - Conjure War

Martin Goodhead 04/06/2009

Rating: 3/5

Metal and soul traditionally haven't gone together. With the exception of genre-ravisher Mike Patton and Bad Brains fusing hardcore-Satriani riffs with reggae; proto-metal blues rock had wailing white-boy r and b vocal grains, but look at it more closely and Plant's like a banshee, not sultry- except if sultry means wenches in 11th century garb. Soul comes from the club, the throng of bodies, metal is all about the earnest head-bang and noodle, the cartoon razor-clawed pussycat rather than the afro'd coffee who digs her claws in and cut you to the .

At first listen, Conjure War's 3 strong EP by London power trio Invasion comes across as gavorting swamp metal undertow backed by a Joss Stone howling a goblin cave, which is rather less fun than-Norah Jones cussing to Patton's hissing rock-funk svengali beats.

Suddenly you're inclined to reconsider seconds after hearing b-side 'Invasion'. Drums swing between martial new-wave rhythms and spazz-out core. Chan Brown's call-outs recall 'bow-bow-bow' attached to schizoid metal pulverising; a splentic playfulness.. Suddenly thoughts of 'Conjure' as some cart-horse groove attached to a technical grade five grain-less soul vocalising, with cribs from Metallica bass-lines and Girlschool NWOBH postures, dissipate and you give in to the immutable circular grind at that second listen, teetering between pub-night parody and light-crossing ecclesiastical musk fusion, like a metal hacienda of sound.

That monolithic groove, it recalls-shock, rave-rock pigs like the Mondays in its sloping beat, a ramones-savant luck-in monster of incessant churns like Columbia but-- laced with the semiotics of a girl upfront, a girl tote twisting knotting that microphone and audience alike over her hands like hammer-ons and bass-slap maestros .

On final track 'Lord of Lies's' trad. lyserg-sabbath grind, Chan shrieks 'I'm not worth anything'. False self-deprecation; she's just toying with us in rock postures that fit her like cut-off leathers when she can conjure this kind of monolithic noise of sweet-swamp vibes right up and turn the club to the shades of Ulgrid's hordes through her merest whispers.

Released June 1st