Artificial Flavours is the debut EP from Philadelphia’s screamcloud. These guys are a four piece influenced by the likes of Nirvana, Parquet Courts, The Breeders, Sonic Youth and pretty much every cool band ever, so that must make them the cooliest. Right? RIGHT.
“Routine” kicks off the EP with a guitar riff that’s proper, what-you-looking-at, gnarly and immediately surrounds the ears with an atmosphere that’s moody and full of Grunge goodness. The vocals dictate the pace and seemingly decide when the instrumental can fall to pieces, and through that falling apart the track erupts into a thunderous display of feedback-drenched noise and lead licks, hard hitting drums and what we’re guessing is the moment the band referenced in their email “part of the recording process for the title track involved throwing a guitar down the stairs.” Badass.
The title follows with a slower tempo but a much higher sense of tension as the riffs crunch their way through the airwaves against the stark drums and the vocals which seem to wander into the ears. There are moments of energy injected into the mix, but they pale in comparison to the absolute explosion of noise that sounds like all the instruments collided together in the most brutal way. It’s unnerving, bluesy, groovy all at once and…we’re not sure how we feel about it.
Screamcloud have certainly made new fans in us with their dazzling debut. Artificial Flavours boasts a modest three tracks but each of them are full of personality, charisma and the oddly-high amount of unnerve that it makes for a listen that’s memorable, brutal and absolutely satisfying.