I like unexpected surprises, well those that have a happy ending anyway. There I was minding my own business sat at my computer desk when the dulcet tones of Joanna Lumley (don’t ask) informed me that I had e-mail. The e-mail was from Lady Obscure’s head honcho, Nem and the header said ‘could be of interest to you…..’ well, to cut a long story short, it was! Within the email was reference to a UK band called Superfecta. I followed the link to listen to their debut E.P., imaginatively titled ‘The Superfecta E.P’, and was hit in the Gentleman’s vegetables not once but four times with some superb, retro influenced rock music. This sort of unexpected surprise I will happily receive every day.
Those that have read my reviews before will know that, I have a penchant for cool band names and great artwork and, in my opinion, Superfecta have both. The album artwork is brilliant, like a story board for Bladerunner and the name, well, it’s just effortlessly cool.
Let me précis the band bio for you. London based Superfecta formed in the summer of 2011. The brain child of singer Andy Urwin and guitarist Danun Todd. The line-up was officially completed when Junior joined on drums and Max D Pinto joined on bass. After continual rehearsals and live gigs throughout 2012 to perfect their sound they went into the studio in 2013 to record the debut EP. Delivering a melodic hard rock sound with grunge overtones Superfecta according to their fans are reminiscent of bands such as Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Alter Bridge, The Cult and Foo Fighters but with their own twist. The debut EP “Superfecta” was recorded, mixed and mastered by Black Wookie Studios in the UK and they have delivered the true vibe of Superfecta’s music perfectly.
So, what did I find when I listened to those four tracks that impacted on my musical conscience so strongly? Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.
The E.P opens with She’s a Star, a heavily distorted wall of sound morphs into one seriously cool and grungy guitar riff. When Urwin’s vocals start they are earnest and rough round the edges, a perfect match for the heavy funk vibe to the track, I hear a hint of Bush’s Gavin Rossdale in his vocal delivery, especially on the classy chorus, where he is joined by a soulful female voice. The emphatic backing provided by the rhythm section of Junior and Pinto is a perfect counter to that raw guitar sound, epitomised by the distorted guitar licks fired out at will and the way the track is lead out by the powerful intertwining vocals is pure 70’s hard rock tinged with a touch of psychedelic blues.
The second track, Paradox has an echoing guitar intro that overlays a dreamy vocal, things hot up when the powerful drumming kicks in. The vocals come in, insistent and precise backed by that persistent guitar that crackles and pops as it riffs maniacally. There is a smorgasbord of musical influences on this track, the sharp vocal and hectic pace remind me of an upbeat R.E.M track whilst the solo and general feel of the song lean towards one of my favourite alternative rock bands of the 90’s, Sugar but, whichever way you look at it, it’s seriously addictive. Simple but very effective in its construction and application, the way great songs should always be.
We move onto Inside and the acoustic guitar and more laid back drums slow the pace a tad. This track has very strong emotional pull to it. It’s no ballad but the lyrics seem to tell a tale of loss and parting, this feeling is emphasised by the impassioned vocal delivery of Unwin, I am becoming more and more impressed by this guys voice the more I hear him sing, distinctive and unique with the ability to convey complex emotions, it’s very impressive. The rhythm section are the unsung heroes on this track, perfectly judged to keep things in line and moving along but, letting the quality guitar sound and passionate vocal take the lead. The solo is near perfect, compelling and touching and adds another strata to this imposing track.
All too soon we arrive at the final track on this notable debut, Pendulum is a balls out thrill ride with serious tones of grunge-heavy rock. The guitar almost has a glam rock feel to it on the super cool riff but the vocal delivery is pure Seattle grunge scene, hard edged but melodic and gives the song added kudos for this reviewer. Once again, the drumming is fantastic adding to the overall boisterous feel of this great song. The solo, short but exceedingly sharp, is another nod to that 90’s grunge scene and the track comes to a tumultuous close, leaving me a little breathless and my heart racing.
Superfecta hinted at comparisons with other bands as did I in the review but, to me, they take that comparison and turn it into something unique and instantly appealing. Their sound is a perfect blend of charismatic vocals, stylish guitar and a superb rhythm section, combine this with sublime song composition and I have a feeling we will be hearing a lot more of these guys, success, hopefully, is just round the corner.