Han Solo, Miles Davis, Joy Division, Playwrights and The Proclaimers. It’s an odd list to start an EP review with, but all these names share something in common, and that is that they are all cited as influences for Hampshire based three-piece Blaenavon. Much like the the eagerly anticipated return of Harrison Ford’s legendary character in the seventh episode of Star Wars, the groups latest EP ‘Miss World’ has been a long time coming with debut single ‘Into The Night/Denim Patches’ and EP ‘Koso’ being released back in 2013. However, ’Miss World’ is well worth the wait. It is a scintillating offering that strengthens the groups, already impressive back catalogue.
The EP itself is three songs long and each of these are different, but equally enthralling. The first, is lead single, ‘Hell is my Head’ and this kicks the EP off in fine fashion. It is the clear choice for the opener as it is probably the most upbeat piece of the three combining hard-hitting drums with lively guitar work and a simplistic, yet incredibly effective bullish bass line. The second entitled ‘Destiny’s Mild’ has both bold and brilliant loud moments along with some soft and smooth quieter sections. The track builds to an explosive and catchy chorus before allowing the listener to get their breath back in a calm and beautiful middle segment, which duly reveals the stunning and mesmerising vocals of singer Ben Gregory. Much like fellow upcoming indie band, Palace, the vocals play an incredibly important role in this groups music and the background music is often stripped back in order to reveal the delicacy and elegance of the lead vocals.
‘Dragon’ closes the EP in a wonderful, sombre fashion. It is a a rather tranquil piece which grows steadily and reaches a climactic finish. This group is certainly one of the most exciting around on the indie rock scene at the moment and ‘Miss World’ is a dazzling effort that leaves its audience itching for more.