Before heading off to ignite stages across Spain with their dirty rock ‘n’ roll blues blend, Manchester quintet Gorilla Riot left our shores with a grand parting gesture in the guise of their brand new single ‘Half Cut’, which dropped on 29th March.

Unlike their 2018 single ‘Bad Son’, ‘Half Cut’, which is lifted from the band’s forthcoming album slated for release later this year, doesn’t offer a big catchy chorus to sing along to – in fact, there’s no chorus at all. However, what it does deliver is just as compelling. A snarling opening riff steadily pulsates and persists throughout the track, throbbing like a heavy heart – the riff intensifies and interplays with David Thomas’ pounding drumbeat to provide the constantly pumping lifeblood of the song. Arjun Bhishma’s instantly recognisable drawling vocals present a perfect partner to the music, before the instrumentals lead the way, building to an intoxicating climax heightened by Charly T.’s jarring mammoth guitar solo. Bhishma’s lyrics, by now a hazy memory amid the crashing guitars, are an eclectic mix of free-flowing consciousness with no linear narrative, providing the listener with a glimpse into his own blurry experiences of being ‘half cut’.

Whilst this single is a departure from some of the band’s recent releases, especially the acoustic tracks that featured on the previous EP ‘American Honey Vol. I’, the sound is unmistakably Gorilla Riot, with an double shot of swagger! ‘Half Cut’ is serious, moody, dark, repetitive – it sucks you into its hypnotic rhythm and doesn’t relent until its ready to spit you out. The production quality on this release is excellent in spite of much of it having been recorded in the band members’ living rooms (apparently surrounded by incense and cucumbers) and it really captures the high-octane aural assault that the band are renowned for inflicting upon audiences at their raucous live shows.

Gorilla Riot have been making tidal waves on the UK rock scene over the last couple of years with rollicking performances up and down the country, which inevitably won them the public’s vote to play the Rising Stage at last year’s Ramblin’ Man Fair. They are about to get even busier, having recently signed to Off Yer Rocka Recordings and with a jam-packed tour schedule ahead – including an appearance at HRH C.R.O.W.S. in September – the band will no doubt return from their headline tour of Spain prepped and primed to conquer the rest of the world. Gorilla Riot are quickly emerging as one of the hottest new southern rock outfits on the planet – if you haven’t heard of them yet, where have you been?

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