Pyromance - Carnal Carnage Review
Pyromance hit the Brisbane scene back in 2012. Injecting Brisbane with a ferocious spark of Rock n' Roll excitement. To be honest, Pyromance made me feel young again. They were trashy, full of energy and they really had a chemistry between them. They were very blues based and bounced off each other well. They played the Brisbane scene for 3 years leading a Glam revival after years of garage rock and punk bands being the flavour of the Brisbane Scene. These kids stepped straight out of “Decline of a Western Civilisation II” ready to tear shit up. There was definitely an element of punk to what Pyromance were doing. More akin to bands like The New York Dolls and The Joneses, than to Poison or Warrant.
Pyromance came together when Jake Blatchly and Chris Fleming met at a Marilyn Manson gig impressed with each others style and taste they became good friends and they started to write songs together. Jake had an idea of the sort of band he wanted to create from devouring Motley Crue's The Dirt and frequenting Whiskey & Speed shows. Jake Recruited old high school friend and former band mate Ant Trudgett on drums and Dan Nembach a fan of their previous band the End Orphans completed the line-up on bass. I first saw them at The Beetle Bar and they blew me away. These kids had swing, they played a fantastic cover version of “Rocket Queen – Gun's n Roses” and I had Seduction Destruction stuck in my head all week. Needless to say, I was impressed and I wanted more.
For a very short time, Daniel Johnson joined Pyromance, bringing a flashy dual guitar sound to the band but it didn't really work out. He left moving to Sydney with Jake and splitting the band up. But after a short stint in Melbourne Jake realised what he'd left behind and moved back to Brisbane to reform Pyromance. With Daniel gone Chris just got better and better as a lead guitarist. The whole band got more focused and recorded their Debut EP Carnal Carnage at AK Studios it was Mixed and engineered by Andy Kellie and Mastered by Lord Tim of Dungeon.
Carnal Carnage opens with a live favourite Tear the sky with an opening riff similar to AC/DC or The Angels. Unfortunately, it lacks the punch it had live. It's often a hard thing for a young band to capture in the studio. Jake Blatchly's vocals are high and scratchy very reminiscent of Axl Rose but in this opening song are somewhat grating. The gang back up vocals sound great
The next 2 songs, Touch my Body and Prophets of Smut, are my personal favourites capturing that funky, sleazy Faster Pussycat vibe. Jakes vocals are really on point on these songs, utilising his range and jumping right in an octave higher as the song builds up to great effect. Dan and Ant establish an infectious groove that will have you tapping your toes and whistling along. Chris just cuts through with bluesy licks that mimic the vocal lines brilliantly.
The next song Friends & Fiends is a diss song about former guitarist Daniel Johnson and the backup vocals really bring this song to life. While not as catchy as the other offerings here it's made up for with scathing lyrics and attitude. There's definitely a point to it. They wrap the E.P. up with Seduction Destruction which has a more metal sound to it than the other songs it's full of raw energy like early Motley Crue and the lyrics are fantastic, full of wit and flirting with danger.
Overall Carnal Carnage is a raw slice of Brisbane music history from a band who tore up the live scene but didn't quite capture that energy in the studio. It's still a great little listen and if you're a fan of Aerosmith, Skid Row, Crashdiet or Vains of Jenna, Definitely give this a listen.
The recording of Carnal Carnage actually tore the band apart and they split in half. Dan and Ant leaving and forming Road House and Pyromance recruiting Nick Ashby on Bass and Ty Williams on Drums the band got a harder hitting sound with more back bone. Trying to shake off the “Glam image for a dirty rock n roll almost grunge aesthetic. In my eyes, they were just getting tighter and raunchier.
They managed to land an opening slot for The Misfits along with The Dreamkillers. They played an epic show to quite a large audience. It had been announced the band were splitting up and that Jake would be relocating to Melbourne so it was extremely sad for most of their fans to see them play a big show like that knowing it would all be over very soon. They organised a big farewell show at the beetle bar putting on a night of their favourite bands in Brisbane with FriendlyFire, Kaustic Attack, Weezle and local legends Whiskey & Speed. By this stage the band knew these songs inside and out, Jake was reaching new heights, Chris was playing like a true rock n roll great and the rhythm section was solid as shit. Leaving a trail of fire, seduction and destruction on Brisbane, calling out non-believers and inviting their friends on stage to rock out with them one last time. Many of whom have gone on to form their own bands in Brisbane continuing to evolve our local scene in new and exciting ways.
As a parting gift to their fans, Pyromance released the single Drugs & Sympathy engineered by Morgan Menzies and produced, mixed and mastered by Daniel Hathaway and man did they go out with a bang. With a much bigger, heavier sound, more dynamics and more originality. Ty Williams is a fantastic drummer making the whole band sound harder, there's a different type of groove to Nicks Bass playing, Chris is down-tuned and heavy using a great quiet loud approach and Jake is on point cutting through the mix like a rock star. Definitely, inject this in your ears and remember in the wise words of Dee Snider
"The Fire Still Burns"