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Jekyll - Trampled Ghosts (self-released)

5 March 2024

With Jekyll under the pen, many writers would focus on the fact that the band were signed on the spot by the influential label Fierce Panda after their 2018 performance at The Great Escape Festival, And whilst this is, of course, something to shout about, it is the fact that the resulting EP, The Whispering Gallery, takes its title from a Thomas Hardy poem which tells me more about the band. (And the fact that I focused on that first, more about me, too.)

But, I feel, that it is in such minutiae and nuance, rather than their headline-making moves, you get a fundamental understanding of a band—that, and the music itself, of course. And the new one, “Trampled Ghosts,” my first taste of the band, is a bit good.

If you need labels, alt-rock is an excellent place to start, but within that broad sonic spectrum, more specifically it is elements of shaded yet anthemic grandeur built through abrasive cavernous, post-punk guitar arrays and shimmering riffs, driving sub-gothic bass lines and euphoric, fist-in-the-air energies, that set them apart from the pack.

It is music built as much through emotion and mood as melody and musical muscle, a twin attack of Dionysian mystique and Apollonian deftness, a perfect coming together of the head and the heart. Music that is both big and clever! When was the last time you came across a band who could tick both those boxes and do so so seemingly effortlessly? Not for a while, I’ll wager.