Nottingham-based four piece Mowbeck have delivered something truly refreshing with their latest single Vaseline. Their debut EP Talkabout has been getting a lot of attention lately, having earned some serious hype courtesy of BBC Introducing and eventually gaining themselves a spot at Reading & Leeds Festival this year, which is a massive accolade. Given all the fanfare after their first two releases, it is nice to see that this self-described ‘Gritpop’ band is still putting out tracks with serious hit potential.
Vaseline is a slow burner, a moody and atmospheric tune that starts quiet and slow before inevitably building into a roaring crescendo complete with an addictive guitar hook. The song is ultimately driven on by the lead vocals, which range from a delicate and dainty falsetto up to a raspy, Chris Cornell-esque roar towards the end of the piece. Having first being introduced to Mowbeck when they were a pop-rock group, this was a totally unexpected breath of fresh air, showing considerable growth and progress as musicians.
What really sticks with me after a few (dozen) listens is the haunting nature of the electric guitar, teasing across the record, it has an almost ethereal quality to it, similar to the lingering riff of Decode by Paramore. Ultimately, Vaseline is an obvious product of real hard word, a serious belter comprised of fantastic performances by the entire ensemble. Mowbeck have managed to maintain a gritty ambience without being boring or repetitive, keeping a steady dynamic of vocal leads complemented perfectly by an almost eerie lead guitar part, all tied together by scene-stealing keys and masterful drums. This offering would make for a perfect James Bond theme; it has that effortlessly cool, yet edgy, feel to it.
With an upcoming show at the prestigious Bodega in their hometown of Nottingham on the 19th of November, I would definitely recommend keeping your eyes and ears open on these guys, they seem destined for big things.
Words by Morton Piercewright