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Angora – Angora EP – Album Review

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Sometimes the blues can get so repetitive that it’s hard to ignore, but when the right band comes along to add a twist to that repetition, amazing things can happen. This is where Toronto’s Angora step in on their self-titled debut EP. Mixing parts Grace Potter (namely vocals) and parts White Stripes, the band looks to push hard rock over blues, without doing either a disservice.

The EP opens on the aptly titled “Louisiana Blues,” which is drenched from head to toe in blues tone and writing. The song really hits its stride in a stop and go solo, breaking it apart from a typical blues track. The Johnny B. Goode intro kicks into fast rock on “Hot Dollar Fella” throwing some modern rock style over a classic twelve-bar blues format. The song never strays from this format but instead finds its flair in the modern style it applies. This is also true on “Walkin’ Blues” that gets truly interesting about halfway through when it switches from a stop-and-go solo to a whole new groove altogether, that ends the song on a vicious dark note that could have driven a different song altogether.

Things simmer down for “Slow Blues” where singer Kalya Ramu takes the spotlight of the song, and owns it. Although this slow burner never really bursts into anything new, the stellar vocals and relentless guitar do more than enough work to hold your attention. Bongo drums kick of the epic closing track “Angora,” where the hints of Led Zeppelin influence heard earlier on the album come into full swing, The song doesn’t feel derivative though, it takes a hint of “Kashmir” and gives it a completely new feel. Adding in hints of sitar and flanger the track feels foreign and familiar, and it culminates in the standout track on this EP, especially when Ramu’s echoed vocals play over sitar and exotic guitar riffs.

Angora’s debut EP may not change the game entirely, but for a first outing the band certainly has their technique and sound locked in. Amazing vocals and band synergy are littered throughout that elevate it from derivative to exciting. With the promise found on the self-titled closing track of the EP, Angora leaves themselves a lot to live up to on a follow up to an album that showcases a lot of finesse.