Par T. Animal is a bit of an odd beast. The forthcoming two-track EP from Stoke-on-Trent rockers Tussk is one part Every Time I Die, one part Pantera and two parts heavy metal cheese. It’s loud and it’s proud, with plenty of over-the-top guitar solos and cheesy lyrics, backed by some hardcore growls and cheeky breakdowns. The question is, does this weird mix actually work?
For the most part, yeah, pretty much. ‘Jazz Hammer’ starts the EP off with a bang, with that southern rock swagger kicking in straight from the off and some great shouty vocals, but then it all goes a bit Aerosmith and the vocals get seriously hair metal. It’s a really strange combination, and at first, it doesn’t seem to blend. However, as you get into the EP, it makes a pleasant change to constant growls, but there needs to be more of a balance between the two sides. Playing off that darkness and light could work really well for Tussk with some polish. There’s some absolutely storming guitar solos present throughout, but they’re partially ruined by poor production – the mix just isn’t right, leaving the drums too overpowering and the guitars too fuzzy. ‘Double Drag Queen’ doesn’t have quite as much impact as ‘Jazz Hammer’ at first, but it builds to a great chorus and if you listen carefully, you can pick out loads of fantastic licks and fills as it goes on. However, both tracks feel quite disjointed in places, as if they’re trying to cram as many badass elements into a track at once, and while it does make a difference not to hear the same hardcore song structure put in place all over again, Tussk could do with just a little more precision in their writing.
Par T. Animal definitely revels in that rock and roll spirit, and to be fair, all of the elements are there – it just needs a little more focus and some better production. Tussk have certainly got style and determination, and a healthy appreciation for partying hard; that’s what’s going to see them through in the end.
2.5 out of 5 high fives!