SCARAMANAGA SIX Blunt Force Trauma

The Scaramanga Six are arguably one of the most prolific and unique underground rock bands in the UK. The group have their home in the gloomy Yorkshire town of Huddersfield and are based  around the dual tyranny of twin brothers Paul & Steven Morricone with Julia Arnez on guitars and Gareth Champion on the traps.

A self-styled ‘evil version of a pop group’, the band’s trademarks are a mish-mash of finely crafted melodies, guttural howls, soaring croons, abrasive & punky arrangements, encyclopaedic musical references and dark subject matter, all delivered with ferocious self-confidence.

They exist somewhere between the malevolent grit of The Stranglers in their prime and the existential melodrama of Scott Walker, if you can imagine that.

You’ve probably never heard of them, but this band have been ploughing their own truly independent, scenester-defying furrow since the late 90’s, relentlessly leaving a trail of bemused gig-goers behind with incendiary live rock rituals, whilst carving a legacy through a series of mind-flaying recordings all released through their own label, Wrath Records.

Scaramanga Six headshot

Self-release is a key tool for creativity these days it seems, but these guys have been doing it for well over a decade.

For this, their seventh studio album, The Scaramanga Six decided to make an ambitious pilgrimage to Chicago Illinois to record with the best engineer in the world, Mr Steve Albini.  (Pixies, Nirvana, PJ Harvey, The Stooges, Shellac etc etc) in his own Electrical Audio studio. To get that authentic ‘Albini sound’, the recordings were all done completely live with minimal overdubs onto 2” tape using all analogue equipment and the bare minimum of post-production.

We listened to Blunt Force Trauma – taken from the album ‘Phantom Head’ – and here’s what we thought:

A jarring under-body clang of tinny guitars greets you … those the C.S.I. style lyrics are uttered from a cadaver undergoing autopsy. The sounds skid around you, like loose go-karts on a vinyl raceway.  The choppy chords add a sense of distraction, whilst the punk vocals gradually form an agreeable muesli of sounds that crunch in your head. A scratchy chorus is built up from repeating piano-notes. And the groaning bass forms a developing background for the final climax. This is an incisive and honest dismemberment.  
– © Neil_Mach January 2013


Phantom Head will be released on 1st April by Wrath Records


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