Earlier in the year 2017, South African Rock band Taxi Violence announced that they would be releasing a series of short EPs throughout the year. “Shape and Form I” is the first installment in the series of EPs to be released throughout the year. It’s a three track EP that’s just a little over 12 mins. Taxi Violence has five albums to their name. They released their first album “Untie Yourself” over a decade ago in 2006. Their last studio record titled “Tenfold” was released 3 years ago in 2014. The record got them nominated for the SAMA and many other award nominations. On “Shape And Form I” George van der Spuy and his band mates delivered brilliant classical rock and roll songs that will get you reminiscing the days of Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and the likes.
SHAPE AND FORM I
‘Unsurprising’ seems a difficult adjective to use to describe “Shape and Form I”, however, it seems the most fitting for it. The way “Shape and Form I” approaches its core is one of both tight songwriting and fully realised identity. The heaviness of this EP becomes unleashed and brutalised and the softness comes smooth and beautiful.
- Captive By Design
- Fake It
“Shape and Form I” opened with “Captive By Design”, the longest track on the EP. The chaotic, guitar-centric opener feeds off an infectious vocal hook. The opening drum groove followed by the riff and harmonica perfectly suits the flow of the song. George’s vocals sound like good old rock ‘n’ roll. Listening to Captive By Design, it’s clear that the core musical influences of the band still remain the same. Next is Grindstone that takes a different musical direction from the first track. It has a quirky and consequential style to it, both lyrically and musically. The vocals on this track remind me of Ozzy Osbourne of Black Sabbath. Next is the EP closer, Fake It. On this song, George keeps screaming “if you don’t know, just fake it” and goes on to say “it’s all just make-believe“. I think Fake It is the perfect closer to a good rock ‘n’ roll EP. What I like the most about this EP is the heavy presence of classical riffs which is typical of Taxi Violence and George’s vocals.
Shape and Form I has its low moments when riffs begin to fade into one another a little too much. I also think this EP lacked the needed variety of sound that core Taxi Violence fans would’ve wanted to hear on this EP. Taxi Violence would’ve done better by adding more variety to this EP by experimenting new sounds.
In the end, Shape and Form I sets a standard for Taxi Violence’s next EP. Personally, I’ll say Taxi Violence’s delivered variety in sound doesn’t simply come by shifting styles. It comes in the way the band approaches a song with various layers of electric guitars all sounding differently. Besides the midrange riffs and the various influences – ranging from rock ‘n’ roll to punk rock; George and the band are able to play with so much vitality and glamour that their passionate playing adds weight to every track.