Review : Bribes ‘She sings the blues’

Coming from a city such as Liverpool, where the city relies heavily on its musical heritage, must be challenging to new bands. When a place is so invested in what has already been created there it can leave people in danger of ignoring the present and reaching for the nostalgia tinted glasses. It’s also accurate to say that despite the pedestal famous acts are put upon, these cities still manage to maintain lively and active music scenes.

A new offering to Liverpool’s music scene are a heavy bluesy rock trio called Bribes.

With minimal internet presence besides their social media platforms, Bribes would appear to be relatively new to their local music scene however this doesn’t affect the fact their debut EP ‘She Sings the Blues’, which was released earlier this year, gives a promising glimpse of the bands future. The five track EP opens with a self-titled track. It’s (unsurprisingly) a heavy blues number with hooks that wouldn’t sound out of place on one of the latter day Black Keys records.

Again unsurprisingly blues music is clear influence throughout the EP. But beyond the obvious genre tropes associated with the genre, ‘blue’ is used as a motif throughout, a means to highlight melancholy and longing found throughout the lyrics, an example being “looking’ at you/baby all I feel is blue” on ‘Jump the Gun’ and again on ‘She Sings the Blues’.

Ideas of brooding desire are a primary focus for Bribes’ lyrics, “well I don’t mind, she’s on my mind all the while”. While ‘She Sings the Blues’ and ‘Jump the Gun’ are clearly inspired by bluesy rock and roll, tracks such as ‘Wild Creatures’ and ‘Hanging On’ have a more straightforward guitar heavy rock sound, which wouldn’t be too out of place playing in the background of any rock bar. The former tracks however sound as though they are ready for bigger audiences than local venues and present the band with a promising future.

Closing with On Your Mind, Bribes draw in a mix of style and influences form blues to rock and roll. The EP would prove a hit with fans of alternative rock, from the slick, stylised rock found on the early realises of Miles Kane and The Strypes to more heavy rocking riffs of bands such as Royal Blood. Overall a strong, well produced debut; and perhaps a sign of good things to come for the emerging trio.

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