The Fire And I
The Fire And I's 2010 release, Stampede Finale, is one of the most overlooked Scottish debuts from the past few years. Here was a record that teetered on the edge of shouty hardcore before using agile indie-rock melodies to pull itself back to steadier ground. Right from the doom-laden, distorted riff that opens Double Kamikaze, however, it's more obvious that this follow-up is the work of a two-piece (bassist Gordon Love and drummer Hooligan Sadikson) keen to develop that metal element in their original sound: the sound is heavier, the guitar deeper, the backing harmony occasionally guilty of becoming too much of an annoying yelp. The scope might be narrower but, thankfully, tunes are still in ample supply, especially when the formula starts cooking on Bitten and Full Effect Intake, or broadens out with a low-slung Peter Hook-style bass on Coming Loose. If you liked Biffy Clyro at their earliest and most angular (but also appreciate the dulcet tones of their later work) then Double Kamikaze gets the balance pretty much spot on.