Having recently made it into the local Showcase final hosted by the legendary Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth’s Underground Pilots unveil their new EP “Another Part…” and although I’ve yet to witness this south coast stoner rock band in action live, on record it’s going down rather well.
The EP’s opening track “The Trip” kicks off with more of a garage rock feel than what’s to follow as it’s short, sharp and to the point but it’s the intro riff on the next tune, the EP’s title track, that makes your ears stand up and start to take notice with its Black Sabbath-esque darkness and the fuzzy guitars that every stoner band needs.
Things slow down a little for “Stoner Juice” but in a dark a slightly sinister way, still showing the Sabbath influence on the genre as its eeriness pulls you in and the production definitely adds to the feel of the track as you can tell there’s been care taken in the mix. The vocals echo throughout helping with the ambience of the song, whilst the drums gradually build up momentum before reaching its crescendo.
Another great riff for “Buzzsaw” gets the tempo moving up a gear again and it’s all about the guitars delivering a sludge-fest that Fu Manchu and Queens of the Stone Age would be proud of, but vocally Underground Pilots stay grounded and stick to what comes naturally as this is the deep south of England rather than the other side of the pond.
There are some nice subtle effects hidden away throughout this record but then as we reach the latter end of the EP the fuzz pedals have been turned off and we’re unexpectedly met with a clean sound and a well-crafted slow number in “Alone”. On one hand it may sound out of place but it definitely feels right and shows off the quality in the bands song writing as well as the singing ability of their frontman.
It’s back to the doom though for the EP’s closing track, and again with “Out of my Head” it’s the build-up of the guitar parts that make you nod along in approval whilst the rhythm section help create it’s moody feel.
The final track nicely rounds off “Another Part…” and The Underground Pilots have created a record that will appeal to the stoner rock fans, but at the same time isn’t trying to be something it’s not and as such surely it’s only a matter of time until part two launches itself upon us.