Cyborg. ‘A fictional or hypothetical person whose physical abilities are extended beyond normal human limitations by mechanical elements built into the body’.
Brighton Space-Rockers Vektrill would hope their music reflects the above quote, but unfortunately their ‘human limitations’, in part anyway, block a true breakthrough for the band.
The EP opens with a fearsome Lemmy-esque laugh, before it kicks into the doomy glory of the title track. Cyborg then shifts into an almost break beat drumming style, with vocalist Scott Miller soaring over the top, making way for a big chorus. Next up is The Killing Science, with its ‘war-chant’-like opening, leading to a dizzying guitar section towards the end of the track. A decent opening gambit, but one that suffers from a few issues, leading the EP to trip over itself a little.
On first listen, Vektrill’s effect-laden sound requires more punch in the percussive department. The fluid bass and low-end guitars requiring more support from the drums of Jordan Stone. His technique is not at fault here as much as the production which leaves the drums slightly flat, the snare drum in particular sounding clipped and weak. Another problem is the long, breathy vocals of Miller, who starts out as the star of the record, but somewhere towards the second half , slips into the role of Matt Bellamy impersonator. This leads to songs like Hurricane (with its already Muse-like riff) feeling characterless and uninspired.
Despite the drawbacks, there are glints of things to come from the band that make hanging on for the next release worth it. The excellent opening riff of Truth Seeker recalls Monster Magnet at their catchy psychedelic best, while the chugging verse of closer Hydra lets the confined vocal style of Miller breathe, sounding fresh and punchy as result.
Overall, there is plenty to like here for fans of Muse, Cathedral and other successful bands of their ilk. The main issues here come with the production and the feeling that, Miller may need to branch away from the long, breathy vocal style to give the band a truly unique identity. Cyborg is a good start, but on the next release, hopefully the glimpses of great ideas will morph into something that band can call their own.
Cyborg is out now on Spotify and iTunes.