Self-styled electro punks Sir-Vere unveil their unique vision over 16 speaker-trashing tracks on their first ever album, released on Wall of Sound this month.
What makes it such an interesting listen if the fact that the band, a trio from Milton Keynes, blend electronic and punk sounds with effortless ability, so much so that you’d be forgiven for thinking there never had been a difference between the two. The album starts with an outburst of science fiction eeriness, ‘Sonar’, the sort of thing Stanley Kubrick would using for a soundtrack if he was making ‘2001 A Space Odyssey’ now instead of in the 70s. Fragments of electro drums, all disorientated and chopped up, shift into the mix, a neat interlude before we hit the album proper with ‘Believe’. This is more typical of the main offering of the LP, an unclassifiable blend of sampled live drum beats and electronic textures from their DJ and beat creator Stevie Vega, while guitar player Gary Morland tops off the mix with some high-pitched guitar scorching. Craig Hammond, the band’s frontman, meanwhile, contributes shadowy vocals, snippets of phrases that bounce around the soundscape via an echo chamber.
It’s a template and palate of sounds that ‘Psychoballisticfunk’ is built around, if not restricted to. Tracks like ‘Night Time’, ‘All Funked Up’, ‘Lights Out’ and others all plough a heavy groove at house/techno speed, but with Hammond’s spooky vocals and neat guitar playing – always tasteful and integrated, never falling into the rock-sim of fretwank showboating – they cut a pretty different and original shape here.
Alongside these dancefloor killers there’s plenty more to break up the mood – the attitude-filled ‘Busted Loop’ and ‘Extra Bear In My Heart’ (you really should see a doctor about that mate) are your actual song type affairs, both sounding like ripe radio fodder. Plus there are some more madcap outings like ‘You, Me & The Continuum’, which throw the rulebook out of the window and keep the variety factor high.
Impressive and original, Sir-Vere are that rarest of breeds – someone who actually deserves their knighthood!