Regular Joyzine readers will be familiar with John Clay as an occasional contributor to these pages, crafter of excellent music videos and soon to be director of a feature length sci-fi odyssey (check out our interview on this subject). Those who missed the memo might not yet be aware that Clay (vocals/guitar) and Rob Homewood (vocals/bass) form the fulcrum upon which London alt rockers Colossus turn. Joined by drummer Andy Sturges, they released their new EP, The Gods Hate Colossus, last week and based on the seven tracks of dynamic punk rock contained within, the titular deities would do well to re-evaluate their position.
Those who have already crossed their paths will know the band’s fondness for the DC Universe, with Clay often seen sporting a Superman t-shirt and Homewood a Batman top. Thankfully their collaboration makes for a far more entertaining experience than these most super of heroes’ onscreen union in Zack Snyder’s 2016 film. Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, these are songs that pack a punch (preferably one illustrated with the word KAPOW! in a bright orange speech bubble).
Opener ‘Strike Up The Band’ sets the tone for the rest of the record, a loud-quiet, stop-start pogo-inducer fuelled by melodic bass, guitar fed through a truly filthy distortion pedal and some excellent vocal interplay. Its successor ‘Playing It Safe’ slinks in on a rumbling bassline before exploding into the chorus, while ‘These Days’ twists itself most pleasingly around a series of dynamic shifts. The centrepiece of the EP, both in its track position and as the record’s standout track, is ‘Sharp As A Knife’, with its mixture of a strident glam rock rhythm, grungey guitar growl (is that a Dinosaur Jr inspired guitar solo I spy?) and Clay and Homewood’s ever pleasing vocal symbiosis. The EP is rounded off with the cheeky romp of ‘Make Her Moan’, the runaway train of ‘Smoke & Mirrors’ (which features an excellent section in which the duo vocalise the lead riff) and theatrical closing track ‘Johnny Mischief (and His Rock’n’ Roll Dog)’, which is dedicated to their former drummer Johnny Scanlon (RIP).
This EP is a rollercoaster of kinetic punk rock which wears its DIY heart on its sleeve. We can’t wait to see how the energy of these songs translates live, when Colossus open the final show of our 20th Birthday mini tour at The Amersham Arms in New Cross on 26th October alongside Fonda 500, Bugeye and Feral Five (tickets here).
Review by Paul Maps