REVIEW: A Vulgar Picture – A Vulgar Picture EP

Band: A Vulgar Picture
Album: A Vulgar Picture EP
Release: 2011
Label: Unsigned
Genre: Groove metal

Time to get your groove on, ladies and gentlemen. Southern in everything except their location of Swansea, Welsh groove metal trio A Vulgar Picture (named after The Smiths, not The Black Dahlia Murder) have wasted no time in getting their name heard. Formed in January this year, they’ve already released this self-titled EP, a 5-track stomp in the vein of Lamb Of God meets older Mastodon.

The EP kicks off well with “Assassinate”, a political pummeling with Mitchell’s crunchy guitarwork complemented by Langstone’s bass and Kidder on the kit. The lyrics are a clear attack on the state, with the line “The land we live in run by cut-throats, liars and thieves”, and Mitchell means business in his vocal approach: an angry shout not unlike Superjoint Ritual which is mixed up with some screams and growls, and a singing voice that sounds almost stereotypically Southern US. The growls really come off well in the sarcastic “You Got It Made”, along with a great melodic riff. Soloing is also a strong point, such as on “Vultures”, which also features one of the stranger elements: a choral section near the end. There are a couple of flaws present in this EP, manifesting mostly in “High Of A Needle”, my least favorite track. The riff is a little overused and despite the solid rhythm, there’s not much going for it. Still, to call it a bad track is unfair, just a little weaker than the others.

The lyrics are peppered with the band’s influences, some more obvious than others; “the doors in your mind shut” reference The Doors, or “High Of A Needle” could be seen as a lyrical groove-reinterpretation of “Master Of Puppets” (which makes sense given Swansea’s renowned heroin issues). Although there are several musical influences within this EP such as Pantera and Electric Wizard, A Vulgar Picture have done well in reworking them into their own style, which culminates in my favorite track, the strong closer “One Magpie” which ends with a confusing but not unwelcome orchestral and acoustic section.

If you’re after some new groove (or impatient to hear the new Lamb Of God), then A Vulgar Picture comes highly recommended. Given how new this band is, it’s anybody’s guess where they’ll head next, but the next release will be one to watch. In the meanwhile, there’s a free download of A Vulgar Picture going which you can find on their Facebook, or check out the embedded Soundcloud track for “Vultures” below!

Rating: 7.5/10

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