Just like its name, Microscopic Wars is a celebration of contradictions, creatively woven together to form a pleasantly surprising hybrid of musical influences.
All Too Much offers a frantic, furious introduction punctuated by slow pledging interludes. Fergus Linacre’s voice is addictive and by the time the equally feverish, distortion-filled Sucker Punch is underway, it’s impossible not to draw some comparisons to Queens of The Stone Age.
This energetic induction is tempered by I Can Feel That You Don’t Love Me which exudes an enveloping warmth, despite its bruising lyrics. This is one smokingly sexy song with vocals that croon predilections like “s-e-n-t-i-mentality… It makes no difference in reality”. Add to this a bluesy solo and a smattering of moog synth to form a indisputable album highlight.
It must be said that something really changes with Micro Wars. Suddenly it’s like we’re listening to a power-pop punk act. This is the only place where the album loses it a bit. Here’s hoping the guys were taking the piss with lyrics like “They say the good die young it’s true.. so let’s make the most of me and you” and ““…take my hand and take my heart… cause love will end up tearing us apart”. If so then I’m all laughs otherwise it kind of begs to be unheard amongst the rest of the greatness here.
So Long brings us back to a good place with a gentle stutter beat and layered harmonies before Ohio busts out what’s undoubtedly the biggest single here. With it’s Midwestern intro and hard rock mantras it’s hard not to get this one stuck in your head.
The rest of the album is rich in diversity and successful experimentation. From the distortion-rich 38 seconds of Hours, to the deep baritones of Side to Side or the creepily upbeat carnival musical underpinning Tremor, it all works. Balladic Eye of The Storm builds to an up-tempo 80’s rock beat via some melodramatic piano before She’s My Baby offers a hint of the spaghetti western with crushing riffs and howling lusty lyrics.
Chronos wraps it all up beautifully as an all out hard rock finale. Imploring “Have you kissed a viper lately?” this Zeppelin-esque gem seems to burst and bubble amongst layers of sound summarising the album perfectly and bringing back what sounds like a broken sampling of carnival frivolity and a pinch of moog.
There’s nothing small about Microscopic Wars. It’s an album of big ideas and big sound and no doubt there’ll be big love for Kingswood off the back of it.