Raw rock trio deliver an EP of energetic tunes…
The Barnsley indie rock trio of Bruja first appeared on our radar in 2016 with the tight rhythms of ‘Sculie’, a song that managed to stand out from the pack via its simple, yet engaging, guitar work and melodic vocals.
More recently, the outfit have enjoyed more of a high profile with support slots for the likes of Shonen Knife, Wussy and Otoboke Beaver. Meanwhile, they’ve also had radio coverage from BBC6 (Steve Lamacq described Bruja as “The sound of disaffected youth from Barnsley”).
Consisting of Delyth Wadsworth (Bass & Vocals), Giannis Kipreos (Guitar) and Zach Duvall (Drums & Vocals), Bruja offer up fuzzy guitar dreampop that suggests everything from Slowdive to Pale Saints by way of Nirvana. In fact our earlier estimation of the outfit as being like a 4AD act from an alternative universe gives you an idea of the band’s sound.
With the arrival of their new EP Evil Creepy, it’s offered an opportunity to see how the band flex their musical talents over 7 distinct tracks. There’s a raw, unreconstructed quality to Bruja’s sound throughout, but at the same time the trio aren’t shy of melody, particularly through the use of harmonic vocals.
The percussive ‘Sweet Milk’ has a muscular energy to it, contrasted with the ethereal harmonic vocals. On the shimmering delights of ‘Eject’, the guitars echo in a spacey void.
‘When You Smile’, meanwhile, shows a bit of a gear change on a fast-paced number that has something of a pop sensibility to it.
The gritty energy of ‘Sad’ demonstrates a soaring quality to its frenetic guitars, while ‘Best Friend’ has a fractured, shoegaze appeal to it.
Elsewhere, the EP’s title track has a suitably menacing feel to it on a track that has ghostly vocals floating over it. As the band’s name translates to the Spanish word for “witchcraft”, that whole spooky vibe (which is also evident on the sleeve artwork), seems apt.
There does seem to have been a renaissance period for indie rock in recent times. As well as the return of the likes of Lush and Slowdive, the emergence of outfits such as Minor Victories and Wolf Alice show a talent and confidence that’s leagues ahead of the tedious bands that appeared to dominate the post-Britpop landscape.
Evil Creepy shows that grassroots rock is alive and well and that there’s still an energy waiting to be discovered – if we decide to look for it.
Evil Creepy is out out now on Damnably.