BAND SPOTLIGHT: SCARAMANGA SIX UNDERGROUND ROCK BAND FROM LEEDS, UK!

The Scaramanga Six are arguably the most prolific and unique underground rock band in the UK today. The group have mainly had their home in the gloomy Yorkshire town of Huddersfield, but are now spread out all over the country, holding down career jobs, shitting out kids, gardening and all that non-rock & roll stuff. Despite this, uncontrollable urges force them on an upward gradient of creativity.




The group are based around the dual tyranny of lifelong twin brothers Paul & Steven Morricone with Julia Arnez on guitars and Gareth Champion on the traps. A self-styled ‘evil version of a pop group’, the band’s trademarks are a mish-mash of finely crafted melodies, guttural howls, soaring croons, abrasive & punky arrangements, encyclopaedic musical references and dark subject matter, all delivered with ferocious self-confidence. They exist somewhere between the malevolent grit of The Stranglers in their prime and the existential melodrama of Scott Walker, if you can imagine that.

You’ve probably never heard of them, but this band have been ploughing their own truly independent, scenester-defying furrow since the mid 90’s, relentlessly leaving a trail of bemused gig-goers behind across the UK & Europe with incendiary live rock rituals – when they play, they slay. Where they play and with whom is not important.

The Six have carved a formidable recorded legacy through a series of mind-flaying albums all released through their own label, Wrath Records. Self-release is a key tool for creativity these days it seems, but these guys have been doing it for well over a decade. During the mid 00’s, the band formed a fruitful partnership with Cardiacs maestro Tim Smith, who produced their two most successful albums ‘Cabin Fever’ (2003) and ‘The Dance of Death’ (2005). These were followed by the stark & brutal ‘Songs of Prey’ album (2009) and the dense and elaborate opus ‘Cursed’ (2011). For their seventh studio album, ‘Phantom Head’ (2013), The Six decided to make an ambitious pilgrimage to Chicago Illinois to record with the best engineer in the world, Mr Steve Albini (Pixies, Nirvana, PJ Harvey, The Stooges, Shellac etc etc) in his own Electrical Audio studio. To get that authentic ‘Albini sound’, the recordings were all done completely live with minimal overdubs onto 2” tape using all analogue equipment and the bare minimum of post-production, the resulting recordings are the band’s most spacious, bleak and intense yet.

Now, in their twentieth year of existence, The Scaramanga Six turned to the intriguing crowd-funding platform PledgeMusic to help complete and release their brand new (eighth) studio album, ‘THE TERRIFYING DREAM’ which incredibly hit 100% of its funding target within 16hrs of the campaign starting. Moving back towards more elaborate and dense arrangements, the band accrued enough material from the sessions (with Lord Alan Smyth at 2Fly Studios in Sheffield) to also put together a trilogy of EPs ahead of the album. Along with the recordings, pledgers could also acquire various other exclusives, including actually being told to FUCK OFF by the band. 

You have in your virtual hands a copy of this resulting album – considered by the band to be their ‘Magnum Hopeless’, and by the plethora of pledgers to be their most intense and thrilling work to date. Immediate, yet expansive, there is a vague theme holding together this collection of songs – recurring nightmares both in and out of consciousness, distortions of reality and things that go bump in the night. Ever woke to find yourself transformed into a gigantic beetle? This might just be the album for you.

Like most good musical journeys, The Terrifying Dream kicks off with a twisty overture (‘Rules’) then the pace is kept at breakneck by two full-on pop onslaughts, the proto-Bond theme ‘The Man Who Couldn’t Sing’ and soul power-infused ‘Out Of My Tiny Mind’. The Six show their penchant for mind-flaying progressive epics in the middle of this album with the intense crooner ‘Arabella’ and 8 and a half minutes of cinematic peril that is ‘Citadel’. There are ventures into Bacharach territory (‘Staring at the Accident’), clumsy dance (‘Tempest’) and psychedelic rock noir (‘Blood on my Hands’) – In this low-budget thriller, the listener is always kept guessing as to what plot twist will occur next.  


THE SCARAMANGA SIX 2015: Clockwise from top left: Paul Morricone, Gareth Champion, Steven Morricone, Julia Arnez.







The Terrifying Dream

Tracklist:

1. Rules 
2. The Man Who Couldn’t Sing
3. Out of my Tiny Mind
4. The Outsider
5. Arabella
6. Citadel
7. Seven Chances
8. Staring at the Accident
9. Tempest
10. Blood on my Hands

11. Be Nothing



Popular posts from this blog

ALTER BRIDGE'S "MY CHAMPION" THROUGH THE EYES OF FANS!

SALOHCIN CLOTHING PRESENTS: COENTHEBUTCHER'S INTERVIEW WITH CANE HILL!

Mansell Release Music Video for Dreamy and Peculiar Single "Ghost"