Alpha is beta (or something)

MV never quite the while Red Dwarf thing, and we certainly didn’t like Gladiators much, so the band name Awooga didn’t fill us with any great hope.

That said, we did rather like the Urban Dictionary’s definition of the word thus: of and or relating to sex and or sexual intercourse. comes from the sound of the horn of an old studenbaker. “i havent got any awooga from her yet” “I heard that they awooga”.

If that’s not enough to get you feeling all street and that, innit bruv, then the fact that Awooga are a Sheffield based trio might be enough to float boats. And if it is this website’s genuine belief that there’s never been a bad three-piece in the history of well, ever, then “Alpha” isn’t going to deviate us from that thought.

The opening to “Thief” rather lulls you into thinking this might be some really heavy sludge thing with a name like Bong Eater or something, instead – while it is heavy when it needs to be – there is a dreamy quality to the vocals of Tam Ali that sets this apart.

Like some Tool song the four tracks here are at once compelling, but they reveal more of themselves to you each time. There is a subtlety to the work of James Borrowdale on guitar that has real depth throughout.

Ambitious, too. These are not singalongs, these are works of great skill, “On Intermission” is the type of thing you might have heard on John Peel’s show back in the day, and there’s a recall of early Radiohead here.

Best of all – perhaps because it’s the most immediate and visceral – is the wonderful “Where The Others Go” on which Awooga add a chorus and the thumping drums of Taran Ali, while the last track is also the longest, and there is more than ample talent in the almost prog stylings of “Faultline” to suggest that Awooga are only merely getting started here – and also when they are in full flight they could deliver something really very special.

This, though, is a mighty – in all senses of the word – start.

Rating 8/10