Based in Newcastle Kobadelta are Dom Noble (Vocals) Alex Malliris (Guitar) Jon Marley (Bass) Jordan Robertson (Synths) and Chris Malliris. (Drums) I can’t say that there is a massive amount of indie/psych/rock in my music collection but life is all about trying new things and experimenting right? Or something like that at least.
I will tell you now that this isn’t one of those records that you’re going to stick on while you’re doing the ironing and sing along to your hearts content. Well, you might but I seriously doubt it. This is gritty, dirty, and in places not the easiest record to really get your teeth into, but when you do immerse yourself into the psychedelic wilderness of Kobadelta you won’t be disappointed.
The EP kicks off with Specials tinged ‘Siam.’ I say Specials tinged because the main melody has more than a hint of their work in it. (Well I think so anyway) One of the main strengths of this track is the strong pounding drum beat which really drags the song forward into the hook but its here that it also becomes the tracks biggest weakness. The drumroll that leads into the chorus sets it up well but it repeats throughout which just makes it all sound a little messy.
‘Repetition’ (A track which you can get as a free download) starts off slightly more up tempo and is more of a straight rock track. It’s here that Noble’s unique vocal style comes to the fore for the first time. It’s kind echoy and distant, not your traditional rock vocal for sure but it certainly works here, this isn’t your traditional rock band after all. This unorthodox style is shown again part way through as the pace drops and the track falls into real psych territory, it just sort of ambles round in circles without really going anywhere that is until everything kicks back up a gear for a strong finish.
Penultimate track ‘They Can’t Hurt Me’ contains one of the main things that I love about this record… fuzzy guitars. The fuzzy, thickness of the tone on the guitar here is just glorious, ever since I was a kid I have just loved that gravely style. This track is also another demonstration of the unique vocal from Noble, as well as being all of the things which I mentioned above the way in which he delivers the lyrics means that everything sort of all runs together. Again it’s not exactly one from the text book but it suits the band, despite how it may look on paper it does really work.
‘The Heretic’ brings the EP to close and it’s my favourite track on the record by far. The intro is slow, atmospheric, dark and moody until the vocal cuts through the nothingness paving the way for a guitar riff as dirty as your favourite one night stand. Honestly the thing is filthy, but my God it’s awesome. In fact all of the guitar work from Malliris is awesome; it just gives the track an edge and elevates it head and shoulders above everything else. The way that the quieter broodier sections lead into the crushing riffs and gives them that extra impact is fantastic. You’ll never hear this track on the radio but honestly if you get a chance hunt it down and have a listen.
As I mentioned in the introduction in many ways this isn’t an EP for the fainthearted, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t any good. In fact, it’s very good. It’s one of those that improves every time that you listen to it. One thing I will say though on a more general point for the band going forwards is that I think that if they are to the next level they are going to have to find a way to balance the psychedelic rawness that’s on display here with something that will get on the radio and appeal to casual listeners. I’m not saying that they need to go mainstream just that they need to find a balance if they are to take their music to a bigger audience.
However in terms of the music that is on display here, it’s pretty hard to find too much fault with it. It’s unlikely that you’ll be singing along to it in your kitchen but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t enjoyable. Just take your time with it, be patient and your perseverance will be rewarded.