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Embrooks - Nightmare/Helen

  by Fiona Hutchings

published: 30 / 9 / 2016

Embrooks - Nightmare/Helen
Label: State Records
Format: 7"


Dirty and distorted but compelling first single in ten years from self-proclaimed hottest freakbeat trio in the UK, the Embrooks

According to a mini bio of the Embrooks on AllMusic.com the band is "not so much a mod revival outfit - although that description would certainly do - as a freakbeat revival group, if that mini-genre could be coined." The Embrooks have been together for twenty years this year according to one website but list themselves as having being founded in 1966, making them fifty on their Facebook page. They have just released their new single 'Nightmare', which is backed with 'Helen'. Side two is notable because (according to the promo material accompanying the limited edition 7" vinyl version) it is a "remake" of the track which originally featured on their 2000 "breakthrough" LP, 'Our New Day'. The trio are Mole on bass guitar and vocals, Alessandro Cozzi-Lepri on guitar and vocals and drummer Lois Tozer. 'Nightmare' begins with a siren call of a riff leading into a tune that seems to immediately lodge itself firmly in my brain. The overall vibe is of, yes, that 60's mod sound but, instead of being polished and clear cut, it's been deliberately scuffed up and distorted. If this track was a scooter, it would be filthy but you would probably ride it anyway. 'Helen' has a very similar sound and feel. I confess I have never heard the 2000 version, so I don't know if it's a straight remake or not. I do know the distorted squeal of the guitar solo in particular is going to be something you either love or hate. Personally I love the contrast between that and the harmonious do,do,do's. I guess that is what they mean by freakbeat and who hasn't got a bit of freak inside them somewhere?

Track Listing:-
1 Nightmare
2 Helen

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Essential limited only vinyl only first album in fourteen years from 60’s-influenced Medway-based trio the Embrooks

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