Just when you think you’re done reviewing E.P.’s and albums for the year, along comes Bournemouth based hard-rock band MG And The Juggernaut’s brand new E.P. The Storm, a trio of tracks that admittedly passed me by until relatively recently, so apologies if I’m somewhat late to this particular party.
MG And The Juggernaut
3. The Leveller
Kicking things off with Kaiju (and a Japanese symbol my laptop doesn’t seem to like replicating), you’d be forgiven for believing that MGJ are another run of the mill Metallica knock off outfit. However, for any discerning metal fan, the groove-laden riffs and melodies on display here are something of an enigma, becoming more and more infectious with repeated listens. Wearing his influences clearly on his sleeve, vocalist Simon Miller echoes Hetfield in so many ways that you could easily forget you’re listening to such a small band hailing from the South Coast. Amongst this, it’s clear the band are driven by others such as Tool and Trivium, as well as the Bay Area metal icons. Kaiju is a great song, and any fan of true straight up heavy metal would be a fool to dismiss it for a band copying their heroes instead of what it is, a determined trio of guys playing the music they love to great effect.
Next up is the haunting, eerily titled Sorry, a clean guitar led BFMV-reminiscent verse accompanies impressive stickwork from drummer Perry Wicks, giving way to yet another impressive hammer-on riff from Miller. Here, restraint is key, and the understated bassline provided by Rich Webber serves to accentuate and emphasise the strengths the band play to in what seems to be pretty low budget production. If anything, it really serves as a taster, an indication to just how huge MGJ could sound given the right amount of attention.
Finally, we are greeted to the E.P.’s final offering, The Leveller. Straight off the bat the band switches things up with orchestral samples accompanying the frantic bassline within, proceeding with a tremolo-picked riff. The largely instrumental track conjures imagery reminiscent of the E.P.’s first track, Kaiju; a truly epic soundscape that really wouldn’t sound out of place in a Godzilla adaptation. A real Hans Zimmer-esque symphonic verse structure breaks for another beautifully understated solo from Miller as we see the E.P. out, leaving the listener ready for as much more MG And The Juggernaut as they can handle.
I won’t beat around the bush here guys, The Storm is a really great E.P. It melds Metallica melodies with the more intricate sensibilities of a band like Tool and pushes them through a lo-fi, gritty filter. With higher production values and a few more songs, MG And The Juggernaut could really make a splash on the UK rock scene.