EP Review: A Joker’s Rage – “Black Sheep”
Hailing from the North of England, A Joker’s Rage are a five-strong seduction in the dark arts of metal mayhem, and this EP represents the perils of rock n’ roll decadence, played out across five tracks of razor-sharp hooks and pounding beats.
Black Sheep is the band’s second release, following on from The Masquerade EP, which we reviewed back in 2012. The new material isn’t a quantum leap forward from two years ago, but it doesn’t need to be. Where Masquerade set the bar high, the Black Sheep EP provides the real sound of progress. The tunes here simply feel more targeted and direct.
Opener Bounce provides the mission brief, it’s brash, loud and spiky pop-metal with a chorus more infectious than MRSA. The influence of Avenged Sevenfold is clear, but the variety of genres on show here is evidence that AJR are no poor man’s imitation. Fancy some curveballs? Try pop, power-metal, funk and even euro-disco, each one equating to an achievement unlocked.
There’s a palpable sense here of sheer bloody-mindedness and hard graft paying dividends here, from a band eager to make both a point and an impact. File under shock and awe, this is blitzkrieg radio.
The NME might be championing Royal Blood as the future of rock and roll, but then indie darlings wouldn’t know true metal if it got it’s rat out and slapped them around the face with it. If you’re looking to jump on board a rock n’ rollercoaster ride for 2015, A Joker’s Rage might be just the ticket.