Time To Pay (Self-Released) is the new EP from Connecticut’s Turkey Vulture, a duo consisting of Jessie May (guitar, vocals, bass, cello) and Jim Clegg (drums, artwork). The EP is a force of incredible energy that nods to a deceptively diverse set of influences. This is punk; this is doom metal; this is stoner rock. Above all, it emanates a refreshingly raw and gloriously unpolished power.
Jessie May has talked often about her love for folk music and Americana, and that’s one of the secret ingredients here. The riffs and vocal lines are infused with a sense of melody which gives the songs a depth that belies their abrasive exterior. May also adapts her voice to wrap around each song; it gracefully slides between a metal growl, bluesy drawl, and spoken word tirade. All of which sits on top of a roaringly heavy guitar cacophony and Jim Clegg’s shatteringly thunderous drums.
“Lost at Sea” opens the EP with a folky cello melody and the sound of a creaking ship on a windy ocean. Then, breaking the tranquility like the onslaught of a deadly storm follows nearly four more minutes of utterly crushing riffs, constantly shifting time signatures, and demonic vocals.
“Age of Resistance” has May in turn ranting as though addressing a crowd at a rally, growling as though possessed, and chanting melodic choruses. The bluesy riffs stick in your head too, supported as they are by Clegg’s pounding rhythms.
“Daddy’s Roving Eye” is swaggering sludge-blues with an addictively rolling groove. May’s voice recalls an angry Patti Smith here. The riffs are rootsy but the delivery is empoweringly aggressive.
Closer “Old Nick” features a kooky jazz riff but also at different times recalls Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, and Clutch. Again, May’s vocals chop and change seamlessly between their very different modes. Somehow, this unusual patchwork of genres holds together brilliantly.
Turkey Vulture have a knack of being able to pull in the influence of a wide range of styles whilst keeping their songs cohesive. They know exactly when to change gear with riffs, time signatures and vocal styles, and it all feels right. Running throughout is an exciting sense of not knowing what’s coming next.
If you have a taste for heavy riffs there will be plenty to sate your appetite here. If you also have an appreciation of the noisy chaos of punk and the melody of folk music then you should definitely hear Time To Pay.
Time To Pay is available now via Bandcamp at https://turkeyvulture.bandcamp.com/album/time-to-pay.
8 / 10