Sheffield’s Vortex Town are visceral, raw and loud. Guitarist Ben Hodge’s amps get turned up to nosebleed levels, bassist Tim Davis ensures sure his sound is deep enough to rattle skulls, drummer Andy Purves wallops his skins at breakneck speed and vocalist Cassie Durance conjures her vigorously soulful voice up from the very deepest depths of her lungs.
The self-titled debut EP, also referred to as ‘1’, is a tunefully heavy sum of these pieces. Most parts grunge, some parts metal, all parts entirely rock. They do big, grimy, dysfunctional blues rhapsodies with cathedral sized choruses, like first track ‘Deeper’ and the monumental ‘Sugar’, as if Skunk Anansie studied at the university of Royal Blood. Lusciously named ‘Vigour of Vultures’ summons Placebo at their full throttle best, ‘On My Skin’ is the closest the group come to a power ballad and even that is shot through with humongous riffs and longing, “and when daylight surrounds me I’ll be hiding from the sun, I wanna be the trigger to your gun, I just want to impress you with all the things you like, I’ll spend my days pretending, if only you would notice me”.
‘Digital Fumes’ is a mesmerising epic, traversing dark styles and moods, exploring Pearl Jam levels of Seattle inspired grunge, Durance’s voice becoming an intimidatingly tetherless growl as she screams “Why don’t you touch me? Why don’t you love me?”. And after hearing the emotion poured into that one composition we’re certain that Cassie’s elusive beau won’t stay spinelessly distant for long.
Vortex Town are currently unsigned. The self-titled EP was produced by Electric Bear Productions, Mansfield and is out on all streaming platforms now. Hit here to listen on Spotify.
Check out the video for Sugar below: