Back in August, I stumbled across a song – Lotion – by a band I had never heard of before and I thought it was brilliant. Gold Phoenix had me gripped. Lotion isn’t a part of this EP, so I just wanted to remind everyone reading this that the single is legit and if you want you can read more about it here – https://wavebyte.co.uk/2017/08/12/gold-phoenix-lotion/

So, the new EP. I must admit, my sentiments are carried over. There’s No Illusion Hereis new and exciting, with five songs that are unlike any of the previous singles that they have released. There is a passion and gravitas of the band’s sound that bleeds through into every song. Each individual track is distinct, and frankly an improvement on anything that has come before.

The first song on the EP is titled Hard to Beat. The beat of this one is decent (clever puns aside) but unfortunately it does seem to fall a little flat. Don’t get me wrong, I like the sound and the tone of the song, but it leaves me wanting so much more. I don’t know whether it was the intention of the piece, but it left me wanting something meatier and heavier for sure.

The follow up, Black Bullet, provides the meat that I was itching for. It’s here that the Queens of the Stone Age inspiration really comes to the front. The best parts of this song are the instrumentals. I want to give major props to bassist Fred, as the it sounds mighty fine throughout the piece. The song features a hearty breakdown where Fred and Jamie’s talents put themselves on display. This will sound awesome live.

Oh So Hard was initially released back in August, and shows itself to me as being richly influenced by other artists. I’m getting major She Wants Revenge and Placebo vibes with this one. The only way I can describe this song is dark, fuzzy, and crunchy. This piece is fast and shady thanks to Ed on drums who smashes his symbols to absolute dust.

The next piece is called Hot ‘n’ Cold, unfortunatelyit lives up to its name. The intro absolutely bites at the ears and the chorus provides a slick, cool reprieve. There is a cool hook, butI am left longing for more every time I listen to it.

The final piece, Every Step of the Way, is a ramped-up anthem, it fulfilled my urge for a little bit of energy. It feels as though the rest of the EP has been a build-up to this piece of brilliance. Cohesive and rounded, this is the highlight of the release. Banger.

Although, I’ve been nit-picking the tracks in this review, I do have a confession to make. It’s a fantastic collection, and whilst it’s not quite perfect, it’s certainly a cracking EP that I’ll be listening to for a while. The quality of the bands performance, the lyrical depth, and the energy on display has certainly amped up since their last release.

Even the production of the EP has stepped up – there’s a clear distinction between the quality of their previously self-titled EP (released in 2016) and this one. This must be put down to the production of Nick Brine, who’s previously worked with extremely talented groups such as Oasis, Bruce Springsteen, and the Arctic Monkeys. This up-and-coming band has a solid following and with this release, it is clear to see why. Now I’ll be waiting for the LP!

4/5 Bytes.

Will Wilkins

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