Don’t be fooled by the name. Don’t be fooled by the cartoon cover. The Bridges Of Madison County is made up of The Jimmy Cake, Hooray For Humans, Sylvan and Hands Up Who Wants To Die alumni, and there couldn’t have been a more aptly named space than Storm Studio to record this beast of an EP.
Eggs of Contemptasaurus Rex grabs you in by the throat. What at first sounds like a nod to The Pixies Rock Music and its “miles away” scream transforms into an almost free-form freak-out backed by a deadly discordant horn. A dirty guitar sound menaces in the background, giving way to a startling mid section that shimmers compared to what just went before. Things evolve again – a lumbering behemoth of a riff blindly lurches from this point towards the song’s conclusion – this one just keeps getting better. When your band is managed by the Lovecraftian god Cthulhu I suppose this is what results. Finally a horn emerges from the mire of music; as Lovecraft himself would have it, this is nothing less than a cosmic Cyclopean onslaught of crawling chaos.
1-12-123-1234-12345 begins in the manner of its title and that punchy phrasing is the staple throughout. This is a stomper, where the barely discernible lyrics that are the collection’s calling card are screamed out in throat-shredding Sonics style. A vocal is just audible in Sympathy For The Vuvuzela, buried under the thunder of drums and horns that drive it relentlessly onward. The juggernaut then gradually slows in the mid-section – the rhythm section leave the guitars to it for a moment and it’s back in with tribal trance drumming, lofty horns and chant-like effects creating a dark, shamanic soundscape.
The final chaotic and sonically contrasting intro of closer Mathrock Mewzack turns into a more conventional beat before the tempo undulates and the vocals howl. ‘The Divil Wears Prada’ is an EP that sounds like nothing else, thanks in no small part to the unique trumpet sound that conversely adds to the chaos and confusion and breaks free from it to soar above. Songs take unexpected turns with jarring musical phrases in one of the most visceral collections I’ve heard in a while. I’d sell my soul to Santy for more of this…R’lyeh.