The wait for something, however long it may take, is worthwhile and acceptable even if it’s hard to understand when the end brings something special. As is the case with the second EP from Leeds band Mishkin. Formed in 2005 it was the next year their debut “State Mute Of Fear” came out, achieving much acclaim, but now after 5 long years, the follow up “Row Away From The Rocks” is released and the band themselves ready to stake a claim as one of the most exciting and inventive bands in the UK right now.
Their time, up to now, has been busy and well spent with tours in the UK, twice in China, where they also ran a series of music workshops for children in twenty locations around the country. Recording a song for the Beijing Olympics and shows alongside the likes of Sepultura, Skindred, (Hed) P.E., and Enter Shikari can also be added to their resume over that period. Now on June 6th the progressive metal quintet deliver something special with their second EP and proves it was certainly worth hanging around for.
“Row Away From The Rocks” consists of four tracks that not only hit hard and groove relentlessly but also show the creative variety in their sound. The EP opens with the single ‘Good Day To Die’ or maybe erupts is a better word. It bursts out with a tough metal attack as vocalist Ben Davy screams out; dripped in attitude of voice and sound the band let rip. The drums of Bradie Nixon are unstoppable and perfectly complimented by Dave Jackson on bass, both driving the song forth. The dynamic quality of this assault is perfectly matched by the guitars of Ali Epstone and Jimmy Macgregor power wise but also melodically where their more progressive style here and more evident on other tracks, peeps through. The track is a kind of cross between Reuben and Tricore, with the group’s ability to combine and switch seamlessly from aggression to smart melodies and intertwine them impressive.
The second track is a completely different animal but no less impressive just of a sleeker and more graceful gait. The clean almost pleading vocals of Davy show he is a fine vocalist whichever delivery a song needs from him, his emotive expression adapting easily to not only a songs style and pace but the lyrical content and feeling too. ‘Waiting For The World To Change’ is a glorious softer rock song though again the underlying strength of the rhythm section is undeniable. Imagine a blend of Incubus and 90’s UK band Skyscraper and you will come close to the immense level the band is playing at here.
‘On Your Sleeve‘ comes in next, closer in vain to its predecessor compared to the opener though again there is another side step into another variation of sound. The synth sounds of Davy give it an electro metal flow that smoulders around the colossal drum work and stunning guitar sounds. The guitars have a siren like attraction and moments of real glory especially the stirring progressive rock solo to end the track. Mishkin solidly show they are the masters of their sound however they choose to dish it up.
The final song of the quartet is a sledge hammer explosion and the best of the lot. ‘Violation’ is a ferocious and rebellious punk of a track, heading straight to the target with demonic drums, heavy bass riffs and aggressive guitars. A slight Stone Sour meets Faith No More vibe comes over but merely a flavour twisted into the Mishkin world of sound.
“Row Away From The Rocks” is a welcome return for the band and a complete pleasure for their awaiting fans and many more they will acquire upon the EP’s release. Their sound is expressive and controlled always and at times completely primal but just reined in enough with some impressive melodies and creative song writing. A look at the EP’s artwork by legendary cartoonist Ralph Steadman shows Mishkin is all about quality, their music is the proof.