Brummie, John J. Presley's White Ink EP is brimming with, high fuzz, lo-fi garage blues. Boasting warbling vocals akin to a howling Eddie Vedder and enough overdrive to make Hendrix proud, it’s a formidable collection that is not to be ignored.
The verses of opener Come to Me are a mix of muted and ringing notes and soulful, tobacco singed vocal tones. It soon breaks into a heavy as hell sliding riff, overridden by John howling “Oh come to me, my love”. He sets out as he means to go on and Come Calling follows suit with his sing/howl along chorus “I’m ready, are you ready? Ready for some more?”
As a mellower mid-point, Sweet Superstition starts with a cleaner, more soulful guitar and softer vocals while the chorus explores lower notes than the former two tracks, boasting a little more pedal work towards the end. Rise To My Confession and Ill At Ease continue in the same vane as the first two and finish on a heavier note.
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The whole EP keeps a steady pace, possibly holding the same BPM throughout. This, combined with John’s unvarying vocal performance can get a little repetitive, but it does little to dampen its unbridled power. Capturing all 5 numbers in a single run, the tracks all have a raw and unpredictable edge which feels like a live recording. It’s a difficult sound to describe, but it has all the hallmarks of vintage blues with a heavily overdriven modern edge and brings the blues about as close to grunge as anyone would dare.
John will be gracing the BBC Introducing Stage at Reading and Leeds Festivals. If you’re lucky enough to be there, he comes highly recommended.