Five seconds into pressing play on Reliqa’s third EP I Don’t Know What I Am you are left dazed, confused, bewildered by the eruption of excitable energy creating an over stimulation of your senses.
The opening, and title track, just starts giving you no time to settle in as you’re put in the front seat of a roller coaster – with no safety belt – of sounds, emotions and lyrics.
There are scattered riffs, a dynamic burst of noise before switching into a headfuck of a breakdown. Throw in dance beats, a djent sound and Monique Pym’s lyrics, you’re left with a feeling of impending madness and trying to escape from it all. It’s manic, is chaotic and as the song lasts a touch over four minutes, it’s brilliant.
The six track EP follows a similarly excitable vein of expression and random ideas packaged into four minute blocks, which is refreshing in a world of prog music that can often disappear up its own backside of self importance.
The Bearer Of Bad News effortlessly flows between rapid fire beats and guitar riffs before slowing right down into a mystical world, tinged with a middle eastern flavour and Pym’s spoken words before she herself unleashes her voice over the bands hammering rhythms.
Safety features Sean Harmanis from Make Them Suffer lending his vocals to another deeply personal lyrical journey of Pym’s. While Pym raps throughout the song, bouncing with anxiety, Harmanis brings the contrast of rage and harshness that compliment each other, building up towards Pym herself losing control as her story develops.
While the multiple contrasts of energy and styles, within every thirty seconds of music, feature throughout, Second Nature is the bands ballad. A ballad that still takes more twists and turns than a Hollywood thriller mind you, as a chance to display Pym’s vocal talent in a, relatively, more serene setting.
.blip gives the band of guitarist Brandon Lloyd, bass Miles Knox and drummer Benjamin Knox, a short sharp chance to display their own wares of musical excellence before we finish with The Ritualist a heavy whirlwind of great guitar work and more crazy rhythms with Pym remaining calm in the eye of the tornado.
Music, and therefore art, is about the senses being touched in ways it makes us feel alive. I Don’t Know What I Am are all your senses being touched at once that you feel the music literally come alive in front you. It dances, it’s breathless, it’s manic and it’s extraordinary.
EP Review By Iain McCallum