This Wicked Tongue – Provinces
Female-led rock music is something of a rarity in the current music scene, with Paramore being one of the very few notable exceptions, and it is difficult not to view this as a gaping hole in the landscape – there is something beautiful about emotionally-driven female vocals over a grungey guitar riff. Perhaps This Wicked Tongue are about to change things, and with new EP Provinces, the signs are all good.
With an average age of just 23, this band are full of a youthful enthusiasm which provides us with a record that is energetic and tender. The foursome pride themselves on their wild and passionate live shows, but on Provinces they also display a great musicality, citing broad influences such as Queens of the Stone Age and Audioslave as well as Adele and Beyonce.
Upcoming single, House, opens the This Wicked Tongue’s first five-track EP in typically gargantuan style, with a guitar riff worthy of any metal band. It is, however, when front-woman Tina V’s vocals are layered over the top of Haydn Rogers’ guitar that the band really displays its trump card. The leading lady – real name Christina Maynard – possesses a voice that has, quite understandably, been compared to some of the great female vocalists. There is a fine art to coupling dark and ferocious rock music with a pitch-perfect female voice, but Tina and the rest of the band appear to have struck the balance on this offering.
If This Is Me is a track that is full of attitude and rumbling bass lines, with a chorus hook that signifies the band’s impressive song writing abilities. Rogers adds backing vocals and Ben Pemberton gives his drum kit a thorough workout in this, the first single to be released from the EP.
It is on Cape Pelorem, however, that This Wicked Tongue truly excel at what it is they do best. With Tina V crying “Siren – you took me down to the bottom of the unknown” over a power-driven showering of guitars, before a breakdown in which the instruments are stripped back and the gentle tenderness of her voice is given a platform to mesmerise. It is a contrast that serves to highlight the raw emotion in the EP’s stand-out track.
Discontent and Your Hands continue the ear-drum-assault to complete Provinces, a refreshingly brave release in an often unforgiving rock music arena. There is no sign of over-production either, a cardinal sin for artists of this mould and genre; there is a raw drive to the music that marries brilliantly with their leading lady’s powerful vocals. The influences are clear for this young band but there is something a little different about them, and as they protest that “The grass is always greener on the other side,” it leaves us eagerly anticipating what does lie on the other side for This Wicked Tongue.