Black Map’s new EP ‘In Droves’ is best described as eclectic and buzzy, ranging from fuzzy anger pop, to Muse-esque songs, there’s a lot going on in this album.
Opening with ‘Run Rabbit Run,’ the album is given a solid pace, by this extremely strong track, buzzier than a beard of bees yet slick as their honey, it has a very early 2000’s feel to it, brought up by a solid bridge and Ben Flanagan’s voice husking alongside the heavy baseline. Sliding into ruin, the album continues the early noughties feel with heavier guitars and a far, funkier yet intimidating baseline which keeps the pace nice and solid through the entire song giving it an, almost creepy feeling to it.
Dissolving into the incredibly experimental ‘Longbranch’ which is by far the best track on the album, the fairly solid pace is brought down into echoing guitars and eerie vocals which is oh-so-creepy, which combined with their experimental use of sounds within this song, definitely gives me a mental image that aliens are coming for us, and combined with lyrics such as ‘a dead ringer for the living’, there’s definitely some sinister undertones here! ‘Octavia’ gives the album a heavier twist , combined with their Muse meets Bring Me the Horizon meets Keane musings.
‘Indoor Kid’ feels like it’s falling into the realms of 2000’s band Garbage with a darker twist, but with very much the same sound as the rest of the album, given texture by the echoing guitar riff mid-way through the song. Finishing up with Closing tracks ‘Transit III’ which mellows out and adds a softer texture to the album and ‘Coma Phase’ which lifts the album up further with its in your face drums and catchy guitar riffs.
This album is definitely lifted by its stand out tracks ‘Longbranch’ and ‘Coma Phase’ where the rest of the album can feel a little flat at times, but when you can see what this band is capable of, particularly in the two tracks above, let’s hope that their next album has more of that sort of thing, because they definitely pack a punch.